Labor Day Weekend 2013 and to start things off in a southern way as the farm stands are loaded with tomatoes red ripe and green. Tomato sandwiches drizzled with EVOO and shredded fresh basil for breakfast, lunch or dinner is easily a summer favorite around here and easy. The grill will be the appliance of choice for 3 days as it is just too hot to start the oven..
Sadly the pictures most of the pictures aren’t so great for this dinner episode, I left the heat lamps on while taking pictures and all of the photos were bright red, not very appealing at all so here are just a couple to share.
What to do with a quart of buttermilk before it gets tossed out, well I added it to the cornbread stuffing for the chops and then added an egg to some buttermilk to dredge the tomatoes in before breading, and to top things off a nice buttermilk dressing to drizzle over the tomatoes.
A good basic cornbread stuffing comes from Alton Brown, but I adapted the recipe to fill just two thick cut chops (bone-in). Prepared dried stuffing mixes are available and very adaptable and in my case a little more buttermilk in place of some of the liquid on the packaged stuffing and the addition of dried cranberries and pomegranate infused cranberries along with the cherries. Normally I would use Pepperidge farm, but I spied a favorite of Michael’s good old Stovetop brand, just add hot water and all of the other ingredients…pretty good and fast. What was left of the stuffing I wrapped in a piece of buttered foil, sealed and baked on the grill while the chops were being grilled.
So with the herbed cornbread stuffing tucked neatly into both sides of a brined thick pork chop it was time to grill and we stuck with Alton’s instructions and the chops came out perfect.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3-4 large green tomatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup seasoned all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
Sprinkling of Cajun/Creole seasoning for the crumbs and flour
coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup or so of vegetable oil for frying (canola)
Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a
plate. Mix cornmeal, Panko crumbs and seasonings on another plate. Dip
tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into buttermilk and egg mixture.
Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/4-1/2 inch
of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the
frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not
crowd the tomatoes; they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are
browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.
While the original recipe says to drain on paper towels, I put the tomatoes on a rack over a cookie sheet or baking pan…I also use a little olive oil for frying the tomatoes.
I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!