Fried Green Tomatoes with Lemon–Habanero Mississippi Comeback Sauce

Recipe from Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style

By Chef Anthony Lamas of Seviche

Fried Green Tomatoes with Lemon–Habanero Mississippi Comeback Sauce

Serves 4

For the Lemon–Habanero Mississippi Comeback Sauce:
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream (not low-fat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (not low-fat)
1/4 teaspoon ground habanero, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the fried green tomatoes:
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
3 large green tomatoes, firm but not too hard, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups fine day-old breadcrumbs, toasted, or plain dry packaged breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more as needed
Canola oil
Micro greens, for garnish (optional)

Make the sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Taste for seasonings.
  2. For a bit more heat, add a little more ground habanero to taste.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Any leftovers will hold for several days.

Make the fried green tomatoes:

  1. Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow dish, then whisk in the buttermilk.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes in the dish and let soak in the egg and buttermilk mixture for 1/2 hour.
  3. In another shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, and white pepper. Mix well
    and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, pour 2 inches of canola oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 350°F (attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan), checking the thermometer to make sure it stays at this temperature throughout the frying process.
  5. Remove a tomato slice from the egg and buttermilk mixture, letting excess liquid drain off, then dredge in the crumb mixture.
  6. Repeat, placing the tomato slice back into the buttermilk mixture and then quickly dredging again in the crumbs.
  7. Shake off the excess crumbs and quickly add the tomato to the hot oil.
  8. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices.
  9. Fry the tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes on the one side, or until the coating is nicely browned.
  10. Flip the tomato slices over using a large spoon or spider and fry on the second side until crispy and brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Be sure to fry just a few slices at a time and don’t crowd the pan; otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop and the fried tomatoes will be oily. As you add tomatoes, be sure the temperature of the oil remains at a constant 350°F. If not, adjust the heat as needed.
  11. Carefully remove the tomatoes with a large spoon, spider, or spatula and drain on paper towels.
  12. While hot, season them with a little bit of salt and white pepper.
  13. Repeat until all the tomatoes are fried.

To serve:

  1. Stack three fried green tomato slices in the center of a serving plate and garnish with micro greens, if desired, and drizzle with the Lemon–Habanero Mississippi Comeback Sauce. Serve more sauce on the side, if you like.

 For more recipes like this, get the official cookbook from Chef Anthony Lamas of Seviche – Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style