Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada. Since moving to Canada it has become my favourite holiday. I love that it’s an inclusive holiday and not associated with religion or any one particular religion. I also love that it is a time to give thanks and with it comes reflection.
This year for various reasons it has been a hard year. In the words of Queen Betty Windsor, it has been anal-y horrible. Oops, I mean an annus horribilis. Instead of dwelling on the shitty I found Thanksgiving a great time to push the negative aside, forget about it for the weekend and think about the positives that have happened throughout the year and be thankful for them.
The history behind Thanksgiving is to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes for the year. Um, hello, any holiday giving thanks for food also instantly goes to the top of my favourites list.
Luckily for us, our small town has Lake Ontario on one side and is then surrounded by farms in every other direction. Watching the land around town go from frozen tundra to producing crop after crop in a very short window right before my very eyes also makes me thankful. With the exception of tropical fruits like bananas, avocados and citrus etc, from the end of May until the 1st week of November I can usually buy the rest of my produce grown locally and usually from a stand at the gate or farm shop.
Shopping at a local farm shop for our Thanksgiving meal, I spotted heirloom green tomatoes and decided I somehow needed to incorporate them into our Thanksgiving feast. What better way than kicking off our long weekend eating and drinking frenzy with BLTs for brunch. Not just any old BLT, I decided to get my Jessica Tandy on a la at the Whistle Stop Cafe in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and pimp them up and make Fried Green Tomatoes BLTs.
OMG so good.
First up I made the sauce and put it aside. Ingredients and recipe below.
I went old school southern and used a classic cornmeal coating but you could also use panko breadcrumbs. I sliced the tomatoes and made a dip station for the coating. I added grated parmesan cheese to the cornmeal for extra flavour and then had a bowl with two beaten eggs and a plate with all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Don’t go hard on the salt though because you will pick up some salt from the bacon further in the process. I dipped each tomato slice first in the flour, then the egg and then the cornmeal/parmesan mix. I then set them aside on a plate.
Next, I cooked my bacon. When it comes to bacon, I never skimp. Hello, this blog is called Maple Bacon Please for a reason. The pig is king of the beasts as far as I’m concerned. I would do a minimum of 3 rashers each. Probably more like 4 (North American bacon is so thinly sliced. OINK OINK)
I fried the bacon first and then took the bacon out of the pan and put it aside so I could then use the bacon fat left in the pan to cook the fried green tomatoes. Using the bacon fat with the addition of another tablespoon or so of olive oil took the flavour to the next level.
I then fried each of the coated green tomatoes on medium-high heat for a few minutes each side until flipping them when they started to take on a golden brown colour.
I loved how the cornmeal gave the tomatoes a hard crispy crust that made a crunch sound with every bite. The cornmeal and parmesan crust also helped the tomatoes stay firm and not go soggy.
It was then time to compile the BLT. I used bagels I had toasted and buttered but any fresh thick-cut bread like sourdough etc would work. I added washed spring salad mix, two fried green tomatoes, the delicious horseradish and mustard sauce and then bacon. You may need a skewer to hold it together.
I was freestyling when I originally made the sauce so the quantities are estimates and may need a jiggle with tasting.
Fried Green Tomatoes are also great served as a side, entree or nibbles.
Fried Green Tomatoes BLT with Horseradish and Mustard Sauce
- SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp Sour Cream
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Onion finely chopped I used 1/2 a small onion finely chopped. I had white but red onion would be nice as well.
- 2 Green Onion finely chopped Shallots in Australia.
- 1 tbsp Horseradish I use a store-bought hot horseradish sauce. I love The Keg brand because it's just like you get in the restaurant and it's "make your nose drip" spicy hot.
- 1 clove Garlic crushed
- 1/2 -1 tsp Worcestershire sauce Start with 1/2 teaspoon but maybe add a dash more if it needs
- 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbsp Celery finely chopped
- 3 tsp Fresh Herbs finely chopped I had dill, parsley and chives in my garden so that is what I used.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and then season with salt and pepper.