For my first dish, we’ve taken a particularly gluten-laden recipe that is very traditional in New Orleans and gave it a deliciously gluten free makeover: fried green tomatoes. They are paired with a bright cilantro slaw for extra crunch. To top all this, the traditional heavy remoulade sauce gets a nice and healthy makeover, using ripened avocado to give this a beautifully thick and creamy consistency without using a gallon of mayo.
Yep, it is possible to lighten up some good ol’ Southern classics. Green tomatoes are literally just un-ripened tomatoes that have been picked before they turned the lovely red color we are all familiar with.
These green ’maters are found all over grocery stores in the South, but if you have a hard time finding them…feel free to use a regular tomato. Just be sure it’s as hard and un-ripe as possible. Also, be sure to give it a good 15 minutes with the salt and paper towel trick to really help draw out any extra moisture. Remember, when frying anything, moisture is not a friend. Lastly, try to find a finely ground cornmeal or grit for this dish.
- FOR THE TOMATOES
- 2 large (or 3 medium) green tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- Pinch of cayenne
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 to 5 dashes hot sauce; I like Crystal hot sauce for this
- 1 cup fine-ground corn grits (cornmeal)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons avocado or pure olive oil to fry (any high-heat oil will work)
- Cilantro for garnish
- FOR THE CILANTRO SLAW
- 2 cups shredded red and white cabbage and carrots (rainbow coleslaw mix)
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1 large handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped and a bit reserved for garnish
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remoulade dressing recipe as follows
- FOR THE AVOCADO CILANTRO LIME REMOULADE
- ½ medium ripened avocado
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro
- 1 small jalapeño, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce, depending on desired heat level
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
First, salt the tomato slices on both sides and leave for 10 to 15 minutes with a paper towel or 2 over them to help draw out any extra moisture. This will help with the frying process.
Combine the flour blend and cayenne together in a shallow dish or pan.
Whisk the egg whites and hot sauce together and place in a shallow dish or bowl.
Combine the cornmeal grits with a pinch of salt together as well in a shallow dish or pan.
After the 10 to 15 minutes, remove and discard the paper towels that were on top of the tomato slices. Prepare to dredge and flour the tomato slices now that most of the excess moisture has been removed.
Prepare your dredging station in order: first, the plate with the tomato slices, next, the flour blend followed by the egg whites, then, the cornmeal grits mixture and finally a large, clean plate.
Use one hand as the “wet” hand and one as the “dry” to hopefully work as tidily as possible.
Start by dredging the tomato slices into the seasoned flour blend, being sure all sides are well coated and covered. You’ll most likely need to work in batches.
Shake off any excess and dunk the tomato slices quickly into the egg white mixture, being sure all sides are moist.
Next, dredge the tomato slices into the cornmeal grits mixture, really being sure every nook and cranny is well covered in the cornmeal. This will be its protective coating for the frying process.
Set them aside on a clean plate until all the tomato slices have been dredged and cornmealed. Leave to rest a few minutes before frying.
While the tomato slices rest, prepare the slaw by tossing all the ingredients except the dressing together in a bowl and set aside.
Next, make the remoulade by combining all the ingredients into a blender, food processor or Nutribullet until thick and creamy. Taste and re-season with a bit of salt or pepper if desired.
Add a few tablespoons of the remoulade dressing to the cilantro slaw mixture until reaching desired wetness. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed. Any remaining remoulade dressing can be kept in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.
In a medium sauté pan on medium heat, heat a bit of the oil until hot. Fry the battered tomato slices, about 4 to 5 minutes each side, until golden brown, being sure to flip them with care.
Season them with a bit of salt and pepper as soon as they come out of the pan. Since you’ll need to most likely fry in batches, you may need to add a bit more oil to the pan for each batch.
To assemble, serve a few slices of the fried green tomatoes with a nice dollop of the remaining remoulade sauce on top along with some of the cilantro slaw. Sprinkle all with a bit of fresh, chopped cilantro and enjoy while the tomatoes are still a bit warm.