Fried Green Tomato BLT

By Michelle Buhr • Photography by Brian W. McDonald

3 to 4 firm green tomatoes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups vegetable or peanut oil, to deep-fry
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 baguette French bread
1 small head Bibb lettuce
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
1/4 cup Vidalia onion chutney

     Slice tomatoes 1/4-inch thick. Lay tomato slices in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place tomato slices in a colander and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour, cornmeal, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Dip the tomatoes into buttermilk, then dredge them in flour mixture. Deep-fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
     Mix together mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, garlic and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice baguette lengthwise. Spread garlic mayonnaise along the entire length of baguette. Top with individual pieces of Bibb lettuce. Layer with slices of fried green tomatoes and top with crisscrossing slices of bacon. Top with a drizzle of Vidalia onion chutney. Add the remaining half of baguette and press slightly. Slice baguette into 4 or 5 sandwich hoagies. Serve immediately.