I keep doing this thing where I’ll be sitting in a chair somewhere or laying in bed in the middle of the night and I’ll think to myself: “I live in Mississippi.” And the very notion of that reality makes me literally laugh out loud.
Of course, it’s not that Mississippi is a hilarious or ridiculous place to lay one’s hat. It’s just that I am a New Englander by birth and, in many ways, by sensibility, and, up until only a couple of years ago, I might have considered North Carolina “real southern” and the deep south a place where, sure, Faulkner wrote some pretty great books, but a place otherwise far beyond the context of my Real And Actual Life. What I mean is that, in the greater purview of who I am and what my life has been like thus far, it’s very random and hilarious (and, as a side note, fortunate) that I now find myself a resident of the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
In the spirit of such notions, I was inspired by my new surroundings to put a small twist on an ostensibly southern thing. Here I’ve breaded sliced green tomatoes, made them New Orleans-relevant with a healthy dose of Creole seasoning, and given them a little bit of a ghee drizzle to keep them nice and crunchy while they bake in a hot oven.
Take it from me — and from my enthusiastic New Orleans-born fiance with whom I shared this batch — I will be making an awful lot of these.
Creole Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes with a Greek Yogurt Ranch Sauce.
Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes:
- ~1-1/2 tablespoons melted ghee (or olive oil)
- 3 large green tomatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), sliced horizontally, about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt-free Creole seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat is best)
- 2 cloves minced garlic, or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Creole seasoning for dusting (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with tin foil and brush them with about half of the melted ghee or olive oil. In a small bowl, mix together the cornmeal, Creole seasoning, and the salt. Crack the eggs into a second small bowl, and beat them well.
One slice at a time, dip both cut sides of the tomato into the egg and then press each side into the cornmeal mixture until well coated. Set up on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the green tomatoes are battered. Drizzle the remaining ghee or olive oil onto the tops of the battered tomato slices and then put the baking sheets into the preheated oven. Baked for about 40 minutes, flipping carefully half-way through. The oven-fried green tomatoes will be golden brown.
While the tomatoes are in the oven, prepare the ranch dip by simply mixing together all ingredients in a small bowl. Dust with additional Creole seasoning if desired.