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This weekend I am beginning the process of putting my little container garden to bed.  It was an awesome pepper year for me, particularly for my habanero plant which yielded more than 50 habanero peppers on one small plant.  Habaneroes are tough to use up due to their extreme level of spice, however I like to slice and dry them in my dehydrator for use all winter whenever a recipe call for a little zip.  I also grow them to use in my Habanero – Maple Barbecue Sauce which I pressure can and use on everything from chicken wings to ribs and pulled pork.

My little garden also yielded a number of beautiful red cayenne peppers which I have dried whole for use this winter, as well as a great number of jalapeno and spicy black peppers, most of which I have already used up over the course of the past few months.  One thing that saddened me about my CSA is that I did not receive any hot peppers all summer which makes me very grateful that my own did so well this year, seeing as how I use them all the time.

My tomato plants also did pretty well this year, but in August the top of one, heavy with green tomatoes, fell over in a wind storm.  I left the bent over plant alone hoping that at least some of the big beautiful green tomatoes would still ripen.  Unfortunately, they did not.  As a result, this one plant has left me with more than three pounds of green tomatoes.  I hate to let things go to waste, so I decided that I had to find something to do with them.

Fried green tomatoes were the very first thing to come to mind.  I saw the movie years ago and was never a big fan, but I do love the real thing.  In all honesty, I guess I should admit that I love all kinds of fried vegetables, zucchini, summer squash, pickles…never mind potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I mean who amongst us can really resist such things even though we know that they aren’t good for us?  In moderation however, a little fried goodness isn’t the end of the world, especially if they are homemade with less salt and oil.

These fried green tomatoes make a great appetizer or snack, perfect for game day or any other event.  Try drizzling them with your hot sauce of choice, an infused honey, or dipping them in a sauce like perhaps this creamy horseradish sauce.

Crispy Fired Green Tomatoes

Adapted from Simply Recipes
 
4 to 5 firm medium sized green tomatoes, thickly sliced
Sea salt to taste
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (buttermilk is more traditional and adds a tangy
             flare, but is not strictly necessary)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil for frying
 
  1. Lay tomato slices out on a plate and sprinkle both sides with a little sea salt.
  2. In three separate shallow dishes combine flour and Cajun seasoning, milk and egg, and cornmeal and bread crumbs.
  3. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat until it is very hot and the oil shimmers.
  4. One at a time, dredge the tomato slices in the flour mixture until well coated, then the milk and egg and finally the cornmeal and bread crumb until throughly coated.
  5. Cook the tomatoes in batches for 3 to 6 minutes a side or until golden brown, flipping only once.  Serve warm with the sauce of your choice.

Makes 4 servings.

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