My favorite new magazine of the last five years (alright, so it isn’t very new) is Gun & Garden Magazine.  I describe it to my uneducated friends as “the new and hip Southern Living.”  I love the recipes they have, such as the southern staple, Fried Green Tomatoes.  It’s funny, as the recipe said that patience and temperature were the keys which were “concepts difficult to grasp for us Yankees,: but if you think about it, the Southerners must be equally as impatient to cook a damned tomato that they know is unripe.

Chef Sara Foster gives everything from the BLT with green tomatoes to the simple side dish for fried green tomatoes, frying them all in canola, but adding, “My grandmother probably would have used Crisco vegetable shortening.” We prefer the traditional lard or extra virgin olive oil, but choose your own weapons.

Another useful tip she advises: drain the fried tomatoes on brown paper bags instead of paper towels. To finish off your fried tomatoes, Foster says, “Sprinkle them with sea salt when they’re hot. It absorbs a little better.”

This recipe is actually not the one featured by Chef Foster, but yet another in the magazine recently, which we kicked up Western Style

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 6 green tomatoes, sliced
  • For the Wash:  2 cups buttermilk (old-fashioned whole buttermilk that still has fat in it) mixed with 2 farm fresh eggs, beaten
  • For the Dredge:  2 cups White Lily (self-rising) flour mixed with 1 cup stone-ground (medium) cornmeal,
    1 t. garlic powder, 1 t. onion powder, generous pinch of Fleur de Sel, freshly ground black pepper, and a big pinch of Creole Seasoning (Emeril’s Bayou Blast), a little sugar never hurts either
  • 2 c. pork fat, lard, vegetable or olive oil (or any combination thereof) mixed with 1 c. butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place sliced tomatoes in colander. Salt lightly, and let sit for about 5 minutes to help draw out moisture. Rinse under cool water and pat dry with paper towels on a plate lined with paper towels.

Dunk each slice in the wash and then in the dredge, gently shaking off excess.  Or get ziplock bags of each, toss a few in and shake (don’t bake).

In a cast-iron skillet over high heat, bring butter and lard/oil to 350ºF (spitting hot). Reduce heat to stabilize. Working 3 slices at a time, fry the tomatoes until golden brown, turning only once (about 3 to 4 minutes total cooking time). Use a spatula to flip the tomatoes away from you so you don’t get splashed. Transfer each batch to drain on paper towels.

Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing

This dressing was created in the 1920s by San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in honor of a play by the same name. Adapted from Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., as printed in Food and Wine magazine.

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 t. fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. chopped tarragon
  • 1 T. chopped basil
  • 1 T. chopped cilantro
  • 1 T. chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the garlic, vinegar and lemon and lime juices. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the yolk with a whisk. Gradually add half of the olive oil in a thin drizzle to the yolk, whisking constantly. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid from the shallot mixture, then whisk the yolk mixture into the remaining olive oil. Add the avocado and mash it in with a fork. Whisk in the remaining shallot mixture and the herbs, and season with salt and pepper.

ALTERNATE VERSION WITH SHRIMP REMOULADE INSTEAD OF DRESSING

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy-duty mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Chef Folse likes Louisiana Gold, but Tabasco will do)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 dozen 21-25 count boiled shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the above ingredients, whisking well to incorporate the seasonings. Once blended, cover and place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. A minimum of four hours will be required for flavor to be developed. When ready, remove from refrigerator and adjust seasonings to taste. Place six shrimp on a leaf of romaine or other colored lettuce and spoon a generous serving of remoulade sauce on top of the shrimp. Do not sauce shrimp prior to service, as they will lose their firm texture. Serves 6.