One co-worker gloated about his ripe tomato crop seems he placed his plants near a wall that reflected back whatever heat we had in Seattle over the summer. The rest of the room groused about unripened crops.
What to do with all those green tomatoes, chorused the green thumbs with green tomato crops.
"Fry them," cried someone who had complained about the lack of summer sun.
While the room was ruminating on the fate of tomatoes, I was reading food maven Kathy Casey's blog -- Dishing with Kathy Casey at www.KathyCasey.com/blog/ -- voila, there was her recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes With Remoulade Sauce.
Casey has been a longtime contributor to the Seattle Times Food section, and I know her recipes to be spot on, so I grabbed the recipe from her blog and let her know I was going to share it.
Casey says this recipe was one of her favorite childhood dishes. "My mom used to serve these on Friday nights alongside fried oysters. I like to top them with a jazzed-up remoulade -- why not make a meal of them?"
Later, I was reading a column from garden writer Ciscoe Morris, who was giving tips on ripening the fruit.
"The easiest method to ripen green tomatoes is to pick them and bring them in to ripen on the kitchen counter," Morris says.
>Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce
For Remoulade Sauce:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1/2 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
For Fried Tomatoes:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
4-5 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch-thick crosswise slices (about 16 slices)
Vegetable oil or a mixture of oil and bacon drippings for frying
In a small bowl, mix all the remoulade ingredients. The recipe makes 1 cup of sauce. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated until needed.
Preheat an oven to 165 to 200 degrees. In a plate or shallow bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and paprika with a fork.
Dredge the tomato slices, a few at a time, in the seasoned flour to coat well. Set the tomatoes aside on a lightly floured baking sheet. Reserve the flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 - to 1/3 -inch oil over medium heat. Fry the tomato slices in batches for about 2 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on each side, turning as necessary. As the tomatoes are done, transfer them to a cake rack set on a baking pan to keep warm in the oven.
Divide the tomatoes among individual plates and serve immediately, accompanied with the remoulade.