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Fried Green Tomato Stacks

Yield 6 servings
For bacon drippings, fry three to four bacon slices in a skillet until crisp; remove bacon from skillet, and reserve bacon for another use.

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatillos, husked
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
  • 4 large green tomatoes, cut into 18 (1/4-inch) slices
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Peanut oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Garnish: fresh basil leaf

How to Make It

  1. Bring tomatillos and water to cover to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Drain tomatillos, and cool.

  2. Process tomatillos, bacon drippings, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and paprika in a food processor or blender until smooth; stir in basil. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

  3. Stir together cornmeal, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip tomato slices in buttermilk; dredge in cornmeal mixture.

  4. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a skillet; heat to 375°. Fry tomato slices, in batches, in hot oil 1 to 2 minutes on each side; drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Keep warm.

  5. Combine cream cheese, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place 1 fried tomato slice on each of 6 salad plates; top each evenly with half of cream cheese mixture. Top each with 1 fried tomato slice and remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining 6 fried tomato slices; drizzle with tomatillo dressing.