April is National BLT month, and it just so happens that one of my signature recipes takes this classic sandwich to the next level with spicy pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. Who doesn’t love a good fried green tomato with its crispy golden-brown exterior and tender, juicy insides? Paired with my creamy pimento cheese, salty bacon and served on toasted, sweet Hawaiian rolls, this combination is Some Kinda Good, y’all, and I’m not kidding you! As my Grandpa Joe use to say, I’m telling you what I know, not what I heard.
I’ll let you in on a few secrets that make these recipes a cut above the rest. The tomatoes must be salted first and allowed to drain for 30 minutes before dredging and frying. The salt extracts all the excess water and results in true crispy, crunchy heaven. As for the pimento cheese, I use just a smidge of mayo in mine, substituting instead cream cheese to make it all come together.
I like to serve these as sliders for a perfect party appetizer, but if you’re extra hungry, go ahead and make a full sandwich using a soft hoagie or even two good ol‘ slices of white bread. Watch me cook this recipe, which was featured on my very first Farmers’ Market episode of “Statesboro Cooks.”
Bacon, Lettuce and Fried Green Tomato Sliders
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- 1 12-Pack of Dinner Rolls, such as King’s Hawaiian
- 1 Package of Arugula or Spring Mix Lettuce
- 6-8 Slices of Hardwood Smoked Bacon, Cooked Crispy
- Spicy Pimento Cheese
- 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced
- 1/2 Large Sweet Onion, such as Vidalia, diced
- 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
- 2 4-oz. Jars of Diced Pimento Peppers, drained
- 1/2 of an 8-oz block of Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
- 1/2 of an 8 oz block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1/2 of an 8 oz block of Cream Cheese, softened
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of Dukes Mayonnaise
- Salt, Pepper and Old Bay Seasoning to taste
In a medium bowl, blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer. To assemble a slider, spread pimento cheese onto dinner roll. Top with spring mix lettuce, one fried green tomato and crispy bacon.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 2 Large Green Tomatoes
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
- 1 cup Plain Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons water or milk
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Vegetable Oil for frying
Slice tomatoes about ¼ of an inch thick. Place them in a colander and season with salt. Allow them to drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a cast iron skillet or 10-inch frying pan with vegetable oil halfway full and set over medium heat. The oil will be ready for frying when sizzling occurs after gently sprinkled with water. Set up a dredging station: In a small dish, use a fork to combine the cornmeal, flour, Old Bay, salt and pepper. In another small dish, combine the beaten egg with water or milk. In another small dish, combine the Panko bread crumbs with garlic powder. Dredge the tomatoes in the flour mixture, ensuring both sides and edges are evenly coated. Then dredge in the egg wash, followed by the bread crumbs. Shake off any excess before dropping the tomato slices into the hot oil. Fry the tomato slices until golden brown, turning once during cooking. Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.
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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. One of the Top 10 culinary talents selected in America as a Season 14 finalist on Food Network Star, she is the longtime Statesboro Herald food columnist and host of SKG-TV on YouTube. A Georgia Southern University alumna, Rebekah also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.