Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fried Green Tomato BLTs with Homemade Potato Chips

There's just a little summer left, so we have to make the most of it. I know, I know: Labor Day has come and gone. That may be the finish line for white pants, but officially, we have a little time left. Green tomatoes are all over Seattle right now, so I can think of no better way to use them than in this twist on an old classic. Look at these beauties:

Tempeh bacon can come in two forms: store-bought and homemade. I opted for the store-bought kind to save time, but if you want to go the homemade route, simply slice up some tempeh and marinate it all day or overnight in some soy sauce, liquid smoke and maple syrup. If that's not an option, don't sweat it. Tofurky can come to the rescue:

You can gussy this sandwich up any way you like. The most popular way is probably adding avocado. I wholeheartedly endorse this, I just didn't have any handy the night I made these. Something else I wholeheartedly endorse is a new brand of vegan mayo that's hit the store shelves recently:

This stuff is grand. It nails the mayo flavor and texture and it costs less. I've seen it at all the major grocery stores lately, even the ones that don't carry Vegenaise. It's right on the shelf next to the dairy mayo, which is smart.


For the BLTs:
2 green tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
veggie oil for frying

1 package tempeh bacon (or other vegan bacon)
vegan mayo (any flavor)
good bread

For the chips:
2-3 medium russet potatoes
olive oil
sea salt

Make the chips: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a mandolin or slicer attachment for a mixer, slice the potatoes thin. Lay them out in an single layer on 2 parchment-lined sheet pans. Brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt and any other spices or herbs.

Put the sheet pans in the oven on the lower rack and set your timer for 10 minutes. When it goes off, pull them out and flip them to the other side, then put them back in for another 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely after 8 minutes so they don't burn. If they're browning too fast for your taste at the 10 minute mark, move them to the top rack and leave them in for another 5 minutes after flipping. Once they're done, take them out and let them cool.

Make the bacon and fried green tomatoes: In a skillet, heat about a 1/2 inch of veggie oil over medium-high heat. Carefully put the tempeh bacon into the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping and repeating with the other side. Remove the browned tempeh slices to a plate lined with a paper towel.

You'll be using the same basic that's called for in the onion ring post. That means three bowls: one with flour, one with milk and a bowl of seasoning. Put one cup of flour in the first bowl. Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar in the second bowl until it's thick and then combine the rest of the ingredients in the third bowl. Dust each tomato in flour, then dunk in the milk and then toss it in the flour/cornmeal mixture. Set the coated tomatoes aside so they're ready to go. Repeat the same frying process for the tomatoes, letting them cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden.

Toast the bread and spread with mayo and any other condiments you desire. Build your sandwich with plenty of the bacon, lettuce and fried green tomatoes. It's as easy as...