“Everybody loves fried green tomatoes in the South, but especially our farmers. Picking green tomatoes totally removes the pressure of battling the elements while waiting for the perfect vine ripened tomato. Cracks, splits, pests, blossom end rot … all avoided if you pick ’em while they’re green! It also creates a very quick and steady harvest for local growers or the home gardener.” — Chef David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn, Alabama

Fried Green Tomatoes with Crystal Rémoulade, Pimiento Cheese, and Marinated Gulf Crab

Ingredients:

Peanut oil, for frying

12 slices fresh green tomato

1 cup whole buttermilk

2 cups cornmeal, such as Granary Farms

Crystal Rémoulade (recipe follows)

1 cup pimiento cheese

Marinated Crab (recipe follows)

Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Instructions:

1| In a medium Dutch oven, fill with peanut oil to halfway full. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°.

2| Dip tomato slices in buttermilk; dredge in cornmeal. Cook in batches until golden brown, approximately two minutes. Let drain on paper towels.

3| For each serving, spread 2 tablespoons Crystal Rémoulade on the bottom of 1 plate. Top with 1 tomato slice. Spread tomato with 2 tablespoons pimento cheese. Top with another tomato slice and 2 tablespoons pimiento cheese; top with another tomato slice. Place ¼ cup Marinated Crab on top of tomato. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Notes: Prepare Crystal Rémoulade and Marinated Crab first. Pick up store-bought pimiento cheese to save time, or prepare your family’s favorite recipe.


Marinated Crab

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Gulf crab, picked clean of shells

1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 garlic clove, minced

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Dash of hot sauce, such as Crystal

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1| In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Gently toss until combined, being careful to avoid breaking up crab. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Crystal Rémoulade

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Creole mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Crystal

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 finely minced spicy pickle chip, such as Wickle’s

1 tablespoon water

Instructions:

1| In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


By David Bancroft, executive chef of Acre in Auburn, Alabama

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