This Friday had two completely different itineraries for E and I. He left work in time to relax on the couch before Brian Williams introed “NBC Nightly News.” I remained in the office until after sundown, waiting anxiously for my boss to blow the whistle at the rock quarry, so to speak, so I could get my weekend on.
We still had to plan for two beach trips to two separate beaches this weekend. But since I worked late, I didn’t have time to buy all of our beach supplies and cook dinner.
E texted me about my ETA to Brooklyn. “Not for another half hour, plus we still need to buy stuff for the beach,” I wrote.
He wrote back: “How about I pick up up in our new car, and then I drive you to the store and then home?”
Pretty Boy Chauffeur Service? Yes, sir!
E.’s chivalrous effort had to be rewarded with a hearty sandwich. I thought of something that would be savory and filling yet still seasonal. Fried green tomatoes–which my mom cooked as a summertime treat when I was young–came to mind because they’re a comfort food that can still be relatively healthy. It’s still a vegetable-based meal, albeit a titch heavy. By 10 PM, dinner was served, putting us in bed with enough time to rest up for heavy fun in the sun.
3 firm green tomatoes
1 cup flour
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (I used 2 percent milk to cut the fat)
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 ball mozzarella cheese, cut into thick slices
2 tbsp basil pesto
3 slices of bread
1/4 cup basil
drizzle of olive oil and tabasco to taste
Frying the tomatoes: slice the green tomatoes into thick slices, thick enough that they’ll withstand frying. Sprinkle with salt and place aside in small bowl. Then, beat the egg and the milk and buttermilk together in a separate bowl, and place aside. In another bowl, mix the flour and paprika, place aside. And finally, mix the cornmeal in another bowl and set aside. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip slices of tomato in the flour seasoning mix first, then the egg mix, then the cornmeal mixture, then place in the oil. Fry about 3-5 minutes on each side until brown.
Set the fried tomatoes on a plate lined with a paper towel to let oil sop off. Toast slices of bread until crusty. Spread some basil pesto on one side of each slice bread. Place tomatoes on bread, then top with a slab of mozzarella. Top off with cut strips of basil and olive oil. Drizzle with extra basil pesto if you wish. Add tabasco if you like a little kick.