Fried Green Tomato Appetizer
This fried green tomato appetizer recipe is inspired by one of the most memorable bites I have ever tasted while eating at Acre in Auburn, AL.
While all of my meals at Acre have been memorable, this fried green tomato stack layered with sharp, creamy pimento cheese, topped with marinated fresh gulf crab, and drizzled with a tangy remoulade is unforgettable.
The pimento cheese recipe comes from the Lee Bros Southern Cookbook. It’s simple, fresh, and doesn’t go too heavy with the mayonnaise.
Even though this isn’t a difficult recipe, it does involve prepping quite a few components ahead of time, but the end result is definitely worth the effort. Should you find yourself in Auburn, AL, be sure to save at least one lunch or dinner for Acre, and check out these Top Enjoyable Things To Do In Auburn AL for a Relaxing Weekend Getaway.
- 1 Jar or Sealed Container For marinating the crab meat
- 1 Deep Frying / Saute Pan For the fried green tomatoes
- 8 oz lump crab meat
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp capers, chopped
- 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1/2 tbsp Louisiana style hot sauce optional
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese Cabot Vermont Sharp, not pre-grated
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup Jarred Pimentos, finely diced
- 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
- salt & pepper to taste
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 2 large Green Tomatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 3/4 cup self-rising white cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- vegetable oil safe for frying
- top with arugula or green leaf for color & crunch
Marinate the Lump Crab
- Open the container of lump crab and place in a jar or container that can be sealed. I used a mason jar, but a Tupperware container works just as well.
- Add the remaining ingredients into the container and combine with the lump crab. Combine well with a fork or spoon. Once fully combined, seal the container, give it a shake, and then place in the refrigerator. (*Note: You can marinate the crab the day before, but just make sure you re-mix it before you serve.)
Make the Remoulade
- In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, capers, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and (optional items) hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Combine well, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Make the Pimento Cheese (Lee Bros Recipe)
- Grate the 8 oz block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
- In a large mixing bowl, place the freshly grated cheddar in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese in pieces into the grated cheese, then add the pimentos and mayonnaise.
- Using a large fork or spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is uniform in color, smooth, and spreadable. Seal with a lid or cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If you make it ahead of time, store the pimento cheese in the refrigerator. It keeps for 1 week. If you make it the same day, you can leave it sitting out because you want to the pimento cheese to be at room temperature (or warmed even so it's "melty"), when served with the appetizer.
Prep & Fry the Green Tomatoes
- Begin by slicing the green tomatoes into `1/4 inch slices. Arrange in a single layer on paper towels. Once sliced and arranged, gently press another paper towel on top of the tomatoes to absorb additional moisture. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- To prepare the batter coating dredging station, place 1/2 of the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. On a second plate, combine remaining flour with the cornmeal, salt, garlic, onion powder, and pepper into well-blended.
- First, dredge tomato slices first in the plain flour, both sides. Second, dip the flour-coated tomato slice into the egg wash until it is completely coated. Third, dredge the slice into the seasoned flour-cornmeal coating, gently pressing the coating onto the slice. Place each slice onto a plate, but don't stack them.
- In a deep skillet, heat 1 inch of your frying oil to 350-360 degrees or medium high – high. The temperature shouldn't be so high that the oil begins to pop, but it should be high enough that when you drop a batter-covered tomato slice in, you hear a sizzle.
- Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes on each side (4 – 5 minutes total), gently flipping the slices with a spatula as needed until both sides turn a warm golden brown.
- Once the time is up, carefully remove the slices from the oil using a slotted spatula so the excess oil can drain into the pan. Place the fried slices onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any additional oil while helps to keep the slices crisp. Do not stack. If needed, season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the Fried Green Tomato Appetizer
- You can layer and stack the appetizer into a single stack, or you can serve in a horizontal layer. Start with room temperature or warmed pimento cheese to give the appetizer a sturdy base, then top the cheese spread with a single fried green tomato. Top the fried slice with a layer of marinated crab, then drizzle with remoulade. Repeat the steps until you've used three of the fried green tomatoes. For an optional final step, garnish with a finely shredded leafy green and serve immediately.