Fried green tomatoes are a southern classic. Here in New Orleans, you often find them at restaurants served with a generous drizzle of remoulade sauce as an appetizer. They're crunchy, salty, and still technically a vegetable (well, fruit), so... healthy? I've done something to combine the flavors of the American South with that of a classic South American dish, ceviche. Ceviche is basically just a simple seafood salad. There's usually an assortment of raw fish or shrimp, onion, tomato, herbs, and tons of lime juice. The acidity of the citrus juice is the only "cooking" that gets done, giving you a pop of ocean freshness along with a nice tender bite of seafood. You'll typically find ceviche served with tortilla chips for dipping, but, why not something else crunchy and salty? Like a fried green tomato. I've gone an added tons of fresh lump crab and roasted corn to this ceviche because that sounded like a good idea. It was. The acidity of the lime juice and the lightness of the crab and fish balances out the fattiness of the fried tomato, and it manages to be both refreshing and filling all at the same time. On a side note, when I served these at a recent party, everyone initially thought the fried green tomato was a crab cake. It's not, obviously, but that sounds so good, I'd encourage you to give it a try!
Crab & Fried Green Tomato Ceviche
Makes about 8 servings
- 2 large green tomatoes, sliced into 1/3" thick rounds
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (substitute GF bread crumbs to make this dish gluten free!)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Olive oil for pan frying (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 lb mahi mahi
- 1/2 lb fresh picked jumbo lump crab meat (pre-cooked from the store)
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1T red wine vinegar
- 3 T fresh cilantro
- 1/2 red tomato, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 chopped jalapeno + plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1.5 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen/defrosted
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 t agave
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a rack in the center position of your oven and preheat the oven to 400°.
- Chop the fish into 1/2" chunks and place in a large mixing bowl with the lime juice and cilantro. Make sure the fish is evenly coated in the lime juice and cover the bowl with plastic wrap while you begin the next steps of the recipe.
- Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and toss it with the corn kernels in a roasting pan. Drizzle the agave and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and give it all a stir. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes, until the kernels begin to brown slightly.
- While the corn is roasting, prepare the fried green tomatoes. You'll basically want to set up a little system where you have three small bowls: one filled with the corn flour, one filled with the bread crumbs, and one with the buttermilk. Coat each tomato slice in the corn flour, followed by a dip in the buttermilk, followed by a coating in the bread crumbs. Place the tomatoes on a plate for reserve. At this point you can fry the tomatoes (instructions in step 7), but we recommend waiting until just before serving them to do so, as it allows them to be fresh and crispy.
- Prepare the rest of the ceviche by adding the chopped red onion, red tomato, jalapeno, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and jumbo lump crab meat. Give it all a toss.
- Remove the corn from the oven and transfer to a small bowl to cool down. You just want it to get near room temperature before adding it to the ceviche. Once it's been added, give the ceviche a few good stirs and set it aside in the refrigerator while you fry the tomatoes.
- To fry the green tomatoes, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add about two tablespoon of olive oil. Fry two to three slices of the prepared tomatoes (from step 4) at a time, allowing to cook for one or two minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Use a fork or spatula to flip the tomatoes and to remove them once they are finished. Add more olive oil as necessary between each batch of tomatoes.
- To serve, put each fried tomato slice on a plate, followed by a pile of the ceviche and cilantro or jalapeno for garnish. Eat while the tomatoes are still hot, and keep extra ceviche in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one day.