Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fried Green Tomato BLT

BLT's are a classic and one of my all time favorite sandwiches.  It is a simple sandwich; but at the same time it's simplicity is complex with all of the flavors and textures.  I love the crispiness of the bacon, the crunch of the lettuce, and the sweet juiciness of the tomato; when all of these flavors and textures are paired together they make for the perfect sandwich. 

You just can't get much better than the basic BLT, that's why it's a classic afterall!  From time to time it's nice to put a different spin on a classic to change it up a bit.  That's what done with this fried green tomato BLT.  This sandwich takes two classics that are delicious themselves and combines them to make a sandwich that is truly out of this world. 

There are so many textures going on with this sandwich; each bite is packed with flavor and the perfect amount of cripsy, crunch-i-dy (is that a word?) flavor.  Just the bacon, fried tomatoes and lettuce alone are enough to make a great sandwich but then there's teh basil mayonnaise.  Basil mayonnaise...wow!  This stuff is packed with as much flavor as you can get in a spread, but it somehow blends perfectly with everything else on this sandwich and enhances the flavors even more.  This mayo is light, fresh, full of the basil flavor, but then the acidity from the lemon really helps to balance everything and to make the perfect spread.  Not only was it incredible on these sandwiches; but we've had them on every other sandwich and burger for the last few weeks.  Now we not only have a container of regular mayonnaise in our fridge, but now we have basil mayonnaise as well.  I guess this is going to become a staple on our condiment shelf! 

This sandwich is delicious.  I believe it will be no time before it's deemed a classic!  You have to make this sandwich...and I mean soon.  You have no idea what you're missing out on!
Fried Green Tomato BLT with Basil Mayonnaise


For the basil mayo-

1 Cup basil, loosley packed
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

For the sandwich-

16 (1/8-inch) slices pancetta
8 Slices country bread, sliced thick
1 Cup arugala, loosely packed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

For the fried green tomatoes-

1 Cup rice flour, divided
1 Large egg
1/4 Cup buttermilk
1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup cornmeal
Kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
8 slices green tomatoes, 3/4 - 1 in thick (about 2 medium green tomatoes)
Vegetable oil, for frying


For the mayo-

In a food processor, puree the basil, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the sandwich-

Place the pancetta slices in a large nonstick saute pan set over medium heat and saute on both sides until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to assemble the sandwich.

For the tomatoes-

In a large shallow dish, add 1/4 cup flour. In a separate baking dish, beat the egg, buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate large shallow dish, add the remaining 3/4 cup flour, cornmeal, salt and cayenne pepper.

Dredge the tomatoes in the flour, followed by the egg mixture and finally coat with the cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess in between dredges. Place the tomatoes on a wire cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the process with all the tomatoes.

Pour a 1-inch layer of vegetable oil into a cast-iron skillet. Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.

Carefully add 4 tomato slices to the oil and fry until the tomatoes are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the fried tomatoes to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels, season with salt and cool. Repeat with the remaining slices.

To assemble-

Slather each slice of bread with a generous amount of the basil mayo. Top 4 of the bread slices with 4 pieces (per bread slice) of crispy pancetta, 2 fried green tomatoes and top with arugula. Finish by topping the sandwich with the other slice of bread.

Recipe source: Kelsey's Essentials

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