Fried Green Tomatoes with a Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
A couple of weeks ago someone shared a picture of this dish. I went to the linked blog and they got the idea from a restaurant, now closed, that served it as an appetizer. I thought it sounded interesting but that’s as far as I got. Some ideas just hang out in the back of my mind until the opportunity arises and they pop to the forefront.
One of the benefits of living in coastal Virginia, Norfolk to be precise, is that the weather is conducive to keeping a garden running 9 – 10 months of the year. I left one of my tomato plants when clearing and prepping for the Fall garden and that plant has really taken off. Several tomatoes got to be of sufficient size to pick green for frying and low and behold the idea for this dish came back.
Being the good Southern boy I am this seems to be a proper Southern dish though more likely to be coastal in origin like Shrimp and Grits were. I also think this sauce would be good served over rice or pasta as a standalone entrée.
Fried Green Tomatoes with a Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream
|A fine tasty supper|
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail off, large 35-41
Shrimp dry brine
1 quart canned tomatoes, drained juice retained
1 shallot, fine dice
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs dry basil or ¼ cup minced fresh basil
¼ - ½ cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Vodka
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Fried Green Tomatoes. Make an egg wash using the egg and milk. Slice tomatoes ½ inch thick. Dust in seasoned flour, dip in the egg wash, then coat with the cornmeal mix. Set on rack to dry while the oil heats in the skillet. Fry until golden on both sides and tomato is done but still has a little firmness.
Sprinkle the dry brine over the shrimp and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse the dry brine off with cold water and dry the shrimp then season to your preferred level with Cajun seasoning. Keep ready to add to the sauce.
Melt the butter in a pot then add the shallot and garlic. Once the shallot turns translucent add the tomatoes. Roughly break up the tomatoes with a spoon and bring to a simmer. Stir in the basil and the red pepper flakes. Add ¼ cup heavy cream and ¼ cup reserved tomato juice and the 1/4 cup vodka and mix well. Add more if you want the sauce more liquid or if it reduces too much. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes then stir in the seasoned shrimp just before the tomatoes are done. It will take the shrimp just 4 – 5 minutes to cook at the simmer. Taste and add salt if needed.
To serve, arrange 3 slices of fried green tomato on a plate and top with the Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce. Rice or the Rice/Quinoa mix from Rice Selects is an excellent accompaniment.
Notes: Seasoned flour and the cornmeal mix is something I make and keep on hand in the freezer. The seasoned flour is simply AP flour with salt, pepper, and garlic powder added. The cornmeal mix is 3 parts cornmeal to 2 parts cornstarch and salt. The cornmeal mix is used for fried green tomatoes, fried shrimp, and fried okra. The seasoned flour gets used for fried chicken and as a base coat before the egg wash for anything coated with the cornmeal mix.
As noted above, this sauce would be good with rice or pasta. I can attest that it is good with rice as I had it that way for lunch using some leftovers. The sauce, like many things, improves in flavor after sitting a day or two. To reheat, just put in a pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer and serve so the shrimp doesn’t overcook.
I hope you give this recipe a try. It will definitely be a recurring dish here at One Tree Orchard. As usual you can tweak things to suit your taste. Let me know what you think.