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Fried Green Tomatoes

by Paula Deen's Kitchen At Harrah's, Chef: Heather E

For the Apple Butter Bacon Jam:
2 lbs raw apple wood smoked bacon- diced
2 cups apple butter
1 cup bourbon bbq sauce
2 Tblsp dried thyme
2 Tblsp dried orgegano
For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
2 or 3 green tomatoes- sliced sandwich style
5 whole large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (can also be 2% if preferred)
4 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour- seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic
2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil
4 pcs of Neese's Livermush sliced inch thick
3 Tbsp Butter
For Presentation:
1/2 red onion- finely diced

In a sauce pot: render the fat out of the bacon over low heat. Once the fat has been rendered and the bacon is crispy add the apple butter, bbq sauce, and herbs. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes. Once the sauce has started to reduce, remove from the heat and place into a blender or food processor. Puree the mixture till it becomes "Jam" texture. Spread onto a cake pan and let cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Any leftover apple butter bacon jam can be put in an air tight container and reused later. Keep refrigerated.
For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
In a large skillet- heat the oil to approx. 350. Assemble 4 bowls in the following manner: Bowl 1: Buttermilk.  Bowl 2: Seasoned Flour. Bowl 3: Eggs and whole milk. Bowl 4: Panko Bread crumbs. Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk, then the flour, then the egg wash, and lastly in the bread crumbs- making sure that they are well coated. Place the breaded tomato into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Melt the butter in a non-stick saut pan. Once the butter is melted and hot- place the Livermush in the pan and cook on first side till crispy, then flip it and cook on other side till crispy- taking care not to burn the butter or Livermush. Once done, cut the Livermush into quarters- one for each tomato you fried.

For Presentation:

Assemble as follows:
On the plate make a bed of arugula. Place a thin, but covering, layer of the apple butter bacon jam on the fried green tomato. Place a piece of the Livermush onto each of the tomatoes. Shingle the now topped tomatoes onto the bed of arugula. Sprinkle with the diced red onion.

Serve immediately- and enjoy.


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