I’ve been thinking about trying this recipe for a while now. It’s taking the classic BLT and putting a little southern twist on it. A little Georgia twist.
Fried Green Tomatoes are as classic a southern recipe as any I know. They are most famously served daily at Social Circle’s Blue Willow Inn, a Georgia institution of southern cooking. Their fried green tomatoes put their restaurant on the map with the help of Lewis Grizzard, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist who fell head over heels for them. Grizzard truly appreciated southern culture and cooking and spent his career singing its praises to the world. I adored Lewis Grizzard’s writing and wish he was still around to entertain us all.
I can’t think of fried green tomatoes without thinking of my favorite scene from the movie of the same name. If you’ve never seen the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” you’ve missed a treat. For those of you who have, do you remember the scene where Evelyn, while sporting her “Towanda” personality, has a disagreement with the girls over a parking spot? It went like this…
Evelyn: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
Girl #1: Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster!
[Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times]
Girl #2: What are you *doing*?
Girl #2: Are you *crazy*?
Evelyn: Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.
Haven’t you had at least one moment in your life when you’d like to be “Towanda” just for a little while? I know I have. :-)
The Georgia twist to this BLT, as you’ve no doubt figured out by now, is using fried green tomatoes. With bacon. And mayonnaise. Heaven help me but this is good!
4 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted
4 tblsp. mayonnaise
4 slices bacon
Fried green tomatoes (recipe below)
salt and pepper
Lightly toast 4 slices of sourdough or any other good, substantial bread. Spread two slices of bread with mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, two slices of bacon and 2 or 3 slices of fried green tomatoes. Repeat. Makes two sandwiches.
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 large green tomatoes
Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt
1 cup fine ground white cornmeal
Heat oil to the depth of approximately 1/4 inch in a large cast iron frying pan over medium-high heat.
I had two tomatoes, one very green and one just starting to ripen. The green ones hold together much better and are tastier. You can use one that has a slight pink blush, but try to get completely green ones for frying. While the oil is heating, slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle them generously with Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt, any other seasoning salt you prefer, or simply use salt and black pepper.
I prefer peanut oil for frying most anything. It has a higher smoking point than other oils so you can cook faster and hotter without burning. You can tell that your oil is hot enough when the end of a wooden spoon stuck into the oil sizzles.
Dredge the tomato slices in cornmeal. Grocery stores throughout the deep South have lots of different cornmeal products on the shelves. But the most popular by far is fine ground, white cornmeal. Now, I have no association whatsoever with Arnett’s. They have absolutely no idea who I am. I just happen to like their cornmeal. A couple of other good brands are Adams’ and Hoover’s. It’s easy to find it in the rural areas, but here in North Georgia near Atlanta I can’t get it anywhere! That’s okay, I just stock up when I make a trip down to the southern part of the state.
Add to hot oil and cook about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels or brown paper to drain.
Assemble sandwiches as described above.
Related recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Blue Willow Inn’s recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes courtesy of Road Food
- Fried Green Tomatoes from Tyler Florence of Food Network
- Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg and Cheese Sandwich
- BLT Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette from The Kitchn