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Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Cheese-Buttermilk Sauce

serves 4

Blue Cheese-Buttermilk Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

3 oz blue cheese crumbles

1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon of parsley, finely chopped

dash of hot sauce, like tabasco

salt and pepper

In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, blue cheese, shallot, lemon juice, parsley and dash of hot sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Fried Green Tomatoes:

3-4 large or medium green tomatoes

3 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

dash of hot sauce

1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half or into quarters

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Cut the green tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Put the cherry tomatoes in a small bowl and add the sherry vinegar and a couple pinches of salt. Mix together and set aside.

Prepare the three stage breading:

Place three shallow bowls on the counter. In the first bowl put the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper, mix together.

In the second bowl crack the eggs and add the dash of hot sauce, mix well with a fork.

In the third bowl put the cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, mix together.

Take one tomato slice and put it in the flour bowl, flip it over until it is coated in flour. Tap off the excess flour and move it to the egg bowl. Coat all sides well with the egg, and let the excess drip off. Move it to the cornmeal bowl and coat the tomato well with the cornmeal. Place on a sheet pan while you repeat the breading process with the remaining tomatoes.

Heat a large sauté pan or cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to have a thin film covering the bottom of the pan, approximately 1/4-1/2 cup of oil depending on the size of your pan. Let the oil get very warm so it starts to shimmer, and then add a single layer of tomatoes to the pan, without overcrowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are golden brown, then flip over and repeat on the other side. Move the tomatoes to a paper towel lined plate or sheet pan or to a cooling rack, sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes on a plate or platter and drizzle the blue cheese-buttermilk sauce on top and all around. Finish the plate with a topping of the cherry tomatoes.

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