|Chili & Lime Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes|
During a recent thunderstorm here in Maryland, my patio tomato plant became tumbleweed. The plant blew all over the backyard and lost its vines and its heavy, unripened tomatoes to wind and impact with the ground. I mourned the lost of my tomato plant for all of 60 seconds--then my mind jumped to the opportunity tucked into this tomato tragedy: it's fried green tomato time! But wait--deep fried foods are a "no no" right now for me, so I began thinking of ways to oven fry the tomatoes and impart a unique flavor. I thought instantly of "chili lime" because I love that flavor in corn chips.
I decided that not only would I coat the green tomato slices in chili-and-lime-flavored corn chips, but I would also add real chili peppers (actually, jalapenos) and real lime flavors to the recipe. The results were what I hoped for: a crunchy exterior with a quick pop of zesty chili and lime flavor and a juicy interior with that precious home-grown tomato flavor.
Even if you're not growing your own tomatoes, it's worth looking for green tomatoes at local farmer's markets. Buy them large, green and firm. In the Deep South where I'm from (Mobile, Alabama), summer is not official until you've eaten some fried green tomatoes. Try this gluten-free recipe for fried green tomatoes the next time your mouth is "tuned up" for that Southern flavor. Oh, and they're pretty darn good with Ranch Dressing.
Recipe: Chili & Lime Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes (Serves 4-5)
(A Gluten-Free Recipe)
1 8-ounce bag "Garden of Eatin'" Chili & Lime Tortilla Chips (crushed in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle)
3 large eggs, beaten
3 large green tomatoes, sliced 1-inch thick
1 teaspoon dill weed, dried
1 large jalapeno pepper (seeds and ribs removed), minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 large lime, sliced in half
- Set out three medium or large bowls: one for the sliced tomatoes, one for the beaten egg, and another for the crushed corn chips.
- Place the tomato slices in the first bowl; pour beaten egg into the second bowl, and pour the crushed chips into the third bowl. Place bowls in the order previously described.
- Add jalapeno pepper into the egg bowl and mix to distribute ingredient. Add salt, pepper, and dill weed to the crushed corn chips and mix thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees Farenheit. Cover two 15x10-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using tongs or your fingers, place three slices of green tomato into the egg mixture. Cover tomato on both sides with egg and spices. Transfer each tomato slice to the crushed chips and cover both sides of the tomato. Place coated tomatoes on baking sheets, 1/2 inch apart.
- Repeat the process of coating each tomato slice with egg and the flavored crushed chips.
- Place oven rack in the middle of the oven; place trays of tomatoes into oven. Bake for 15 minutes on one side; turn tomatoes over after 15 minutes and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Tomatoes should be golden brown when you remove them from the oven.
- Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.