Total Time: 35 minutes
Fried green tomatoes are a great reason to eat those tomatoes before they fully ripen. Chili sauce spices up a delicious version of this southern classic.
8 strips peppered bacon
3 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large bunch arugula, tough stems removed, washed and patted dry
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if necessary
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)
Pink Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend or spicy chili powder
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1. In a wide-bottom skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Strain the bacon grease into a cup and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
2. While the bacon is cooking, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Add milk and stir well. The mixture should resemble pancake batter.
3. Add olive oil to the cleaned skillet along with the strained bacon grease (optional), and heat over medium.
4. Working in batches, dip the tomato slices in the batter, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Fry slices in the pan for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. (Add more olive oil if necessary.) Drain tomato slices on paper towels.
5. Combine the Thousand Island dressing, jalapenos, and Cajun spices in a small bowl.
6. Chop or crumble the bacon into small pieces.
7. To serve as an appetizer—Line a serving plate with arugula, layer the fried tomatoes, drizzle with pink chili sauce, and top with the goat cheese crumbles and chopped bacon.
8. To serve as sandwiches—Toast 8 slices of bread. Spread the pink chili sauce on one side of each slice of toasted bread. Layer 4 slices of bread (sauce side up) with 2 slices bacon, 2 fried tomato slices, and arugula. Top with another piece of toast, dressed side down.
Serve with coleslaw, cornbread, and fresh lemonade or sweet tea.
Calories: 393, Fat: 23 g, Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 329 mg, Carbohydrate: 35 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 11 g