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When tomatoes are done ripening, break out the frying pan
Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce
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One co-worker gloated about his ripe tomato crop — seems he placed his plants near a wall that reflected back whatever heat we had this summer. The rest of the room groused about unripened crops.

What to do with all those green tomatoes, chorused the green thumbs with green tomato crops?

"Fry them," cried someone who had complained about our lack of sun all summer.

While the room was ruminating on the fate of tomatoes, I was reading food maven Kathy Casey's blog, Dishing with Kathy Casey — voila, there was her recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes With Remoulade Sauce.

Kathy has been a longtime contributor to The Seattle Times Food section, and I know her recipes to be spot on, so I grabbed the recipe from her blog and let her know I was going to share it with you today.

Kathy says this recipe was one of her favorite childhood late-summer or early-fall dishes. "My mom used to serve these on Friday nights alongside fried oysters. I like to top them with a jazzed-up remoulade — why not make a meal of them?"

Later, I was reading an upcoming column from our garden writer, Ciscoe Morris, who was giving tips on ripening the fruit.

Today I'll share his garden wisdom and Casey's practical take on making the best of ingredients you have in front of you.

Ciscoe's tips:

"The easiest method to ripen green tomatoes is to pick them and bring them in to ripen on the kitchen counter.

"A quicker method is to dig the entire plant, shake the soil off the roots and hang it upside down in your garage or
basement in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. The warmer the location you hang them, the sooner the tomatoes will ripen.

"If you hang them over a nice floor, protect the surface because the tomatoes will make a big splat if they ripen and fall. No matter what method you use, only tomatoes that have a tinge of mature color in them will ever ripen. So don't waste your time on the hard green ones."

Ciscoe says, "Tomatoes will keep ripening on the vine as long as temperatures stay above 60 degrees."

But if the tomatoes lingering on the vines at your home fail to turn ruby red even in the late-summer sun, try Ciscoe's ripening advice or Kathy's recipe for using green tomatoes.



Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce

Make 4 to 6 servings

Remoulade Sauce

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle

1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped

½ green onion, very thinly sliced

1 ½ teaspoons whole grain mustard

¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Fried Tomatoes

1 cup flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika or smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)

4-5 large green tomatoes, cut into ½-inch-thick crosswise slices (about 16 slices)

Vegetable oil or a mixture of oil and bacon drippings for frying

In a small bowl, mix all the remoulade ingredients. The recipe makes 1 cup of sauce. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated until needed.

Preheat an oven to 165 to 200 degrees. In a plate or shallow bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and paprika with a fork.

Dredge the tomato slices, a few at a time, in the seasoned flour to coat well. Set the tomatoes aside on a lightly floured baking sheet. Reserve the flour mixture.

In a large skillet, heat ¼- to 1/3-inch oil over medium heat. Fry the tomato slices in batches for about 2 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on each side, turning as necessary. As the tomatoes are done, transfer them to a cake rack set on a baking pan to keep warm in the low oven.

Divide the tomatoes among individual plates and serve immediately, accompanied with the remoulade.

Kathy Casey Food Studios

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