fried green tomatoes with basil and goat cheese over jalapeno grits

Hello hello, it has been far too long! I hate that I have lately been putting my blogging on the back burner a little bit. But with work, furniture, working out, AND now studying for my real estate license (woo!) I haven't been able to find enough time in my day. I am trying to organize my time better to fit everything in.

I also have a lot of exciting things coming up...lots of fun things going on in Atlanta this weekend and then next week, NEW YORK for my birthday! I haven't been up to see my sasster since Mother's Day of lasssttt yearrr....way way too long. So much eating in my near future. 

Anyway, I have been dying to share this recipe for a while because Fried Green Tomatoes are one of my favorites. Also, one of my favorite movies.

If you haven't seen this, do yourself a favor and rent it when you have a chance. 

Sweet Ruth and Idgie the Bee Charmer. UGH just one of my all time favorites. A classic. I could watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it. Such a great story about friendship and empowering women. Towanda amiright? If you know, then you know. Buy it here.

I had seen this movie as a kid but really fell in love with it while I was in college. After about the 40th time watching, it inspired me to make my own fried green tomatoes. 

I tried to make them a couple times. I followed different recipes I had found, coating them only in bread crumbs and cooking them in vegetable oil or olive oil. They were...ok. But not great. Finally, I discovered the TRUE secret to delicious fried green tomatoes. And that secret is....

Yeeeep. That's right. Bacon. Bacon grease to be specific. Not only the key to happiness in life but the key to MAKING this recipe. (If you know me at all, you know that bacon is actually one of favorite things in the entire world. I once considered a pescatarian lifestlye but...bacon). 

The other secret I discovered is not only using bread crumbs for coating, but also corn meal. It clings much better and gives them a really good crunch. 

Start off with the grits since they take about 45-1hr. Now I've said it before and I will say it again. Use. Stoneground. Grits. Just take my word on this one, mkay?

I do have a confession though. I, Paige Johnson, ayellowpeach, grit connoisseur, have never made white grits. It's true. I have only made the yellow stoneground grits. Maybe because white just reminds me of instant? And I just cannot do instant. Cain't. Won't. 

Two key things I always make sure to have in my grits: jalapenos, and cream (in this case, I cut out the heavy whipping cream and went for the half and half). 2 cups cream to 1/2 cup grits. With stone ground grits you need to first put them in a cup or a bowl and cover with water to skim off the chaff that floats up (parts of the corn). Also, with stoneground you need to make sure and freeze the bag of grits after opening. I dice up the jalapeno and add in the cream. After it boils. add the grits and cook uncovered on low. Stir a lot. Like, all the time.

Continually season with salt and taste as you go so it doesn't get too salty. Usually, I add cheese to my grits. In this case, I am topping them later with cheese so I opted out. 

Now back to the bacon. While the grits are cooking, cook the bacon on the stove until ready. Remove the bacon and set aside. The grease will be used to cook the tomaters. 

Thinly slice the tomatoes.

Get your setup ready. One: flour. Two: 2 eggs whisked with milk. Three: mixture of bread crumbs, corn meal, salt, pepper, and cayenne. 

Turn your bacon grease back on until it sizzles if you flick water on it. Coat each slice in that order: flour, egg mix, crumbley mix. Cook on each side for 3 minutes or until crispy and brown.

When the grits are done, put into a bowl and top with a fried tomato, bacon, basil, and goat cheese. MMMMMM. I recommend trying to get basil into every bite you take. It brings all of the flavors together. 

Grits Ingredients:
-2 cups half n half
-1/2 cup white stone ground grits
-1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
-salt and pepper, to taste

Fried Green Tomatoes Ingredients:
-3-4 slices bacon
-3 green tomatoes
-1 cup flour
-2 eggs, whisked
-3/4 cup milk
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-1/2 cup corn meal
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-few dashes cayenne

Other Additions:
-crumbled goat cheese

If you end up making more FGT's than you can eat, save them! I almost always make too much food because my eyes are much bigger than my stomach. There are so many other recipes you can make with the leftovers.

Using the same ingredients, make an appetizer! Top the FGT with goat cheese, basil and bacon for a yummy finger food snack. I thought about afterwards how good a drizzle of balsamic vinegar would be. 

Another idea for breakfast: Fried Green Tomato Egg's benedict! Top the FGT with avocado, a poached egg, goat cheese, and chopped parsley. A yummy sauce could be made for this too.

Even more uses: Fried Green Tomato BLT, add a FGT to your burger, eat them plain and make a chipotle ranch sauce to dip them in, add it into a grilled cheese sandwich, the possibilities are endlesssssss. 

I haven't posted as much music lately so I'm trying to get back to that. One thing I luuuuuv about Spotify is the weekly playlist they put together for me "Discover Weekly". This one song came up called "All for You" by Fairground Saints and I kid you not, I have had it on repeat for 3 days. 

Listen here