Sometimes things are just meant to be. Like this recipe. It came together because I was looking at all the big green beef tomatoes (tomate ensalada) that are yet to ripen when I was walking the dog.
I started thinking about “Fried Green Tomatoes” the film, which I’ve never seen and the dish, which I’ve never tried. I wasn’t even sure whether it was a special type of tomato that was always green or if it was just an unripe tomato. I googled it when I got home.
It turns out that they are just sliced unripe tomatoes that are breaded with cornmeal (polenta) and fried. They are usually served with a wedge of lemon and some hot pepper sauce. Hot pepper sauce? That is when it started to come together.
We have a huge scotch bonnet chilli pepper bush on our terrace which was given to us last year by our sister-in-law, Marie Elena, before she moved back to England. This year it has come back even stronger than last year and we have just started harvesting the first lot of red-hot round juicy chillis.
There are literally hundreds of them on there and more and more are turning from green to red every day. I’ve been researching Caribbean dishes that use scotch bonnet chillis and am formulating some recipes in my head that I will be trying and posting soon.
The thing is that these recipes only use one, or at the most, two of these chillis and am just about to have loads. I always freeze my chillis, to keep them fresh, and I just take one or two out as required but I needed to make some room in the freezer, it is full of chillis and figs at the moment.
So I decided to make a hot pepper sauce out of my scotch bonnets to go with the fried green tomatoes. That used up about twenty of them anyway. It is a hot, hot pepper sauce but it has a kind of fruitiness to it as well which is unusual but works perfectly with the tomatoes.
Beware, this sauce is addictive. You think it’s too hot but then you keep going back for more. The Washer Up loves it, but he is the biggest chilli head I know. He just put some on a cheese and tomato sandwich.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce
For the hot pepper sauce:
Makes a bit less than 250 ml bottle. Vegan, gluten-free. From The Chilli King
- about 20 scotch bonnet chillis (mine are quite small)
- 100 ml red wine vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 100 ml water
Remove the stalks and any large membranes from the chillis and roughly chop. Blend/process for few seconds until finely chopped. Add this to a small pan with the vinegar and salt & bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes until softened.
When it starts to reduce and thicken slightly add the water and sugar, stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile sterilize your glass bottle by boiling it in water then drying out in a warm oven for 5 minutes.
Once cooled blend the sauce again until smooth and pour it through a funnel into the sterilised bottle, seal and leave to cool. Once opened keep sealed in the fridge, it should last for a few months.
For the tomatoes:
Serves 2. Vegetarian, gluten-free. Adapted from Tyler Florence
- 2 large green (unripe) tomatoes
- 100 gr (1/2 cup) polenta (cornmeal)
- 75 gr (1/2 cup) arepa precooked corn flour (or plain flour)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- a pinch of paprika
- salt & black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 75 ml greek yoghurt mixed with 75 ml milk (I used goat’s milk) or 3/4 cup buttermilk
- salt & black pepper
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
- lemon wedges, to serve
- hot pepper sauce (see above)
Mix the polenta, arepa flour (or plain flour), cayenne, paprika and thyme in a bowl and season with salt & pepper. Mix the yoghurt and milk (or put the buttermilk) in a shallow dish and season with salt & pepper.
Cut the top of the core out of the tomatoes and then slice off the top and bottom. Cut each tomato into four 1cm or less slices. Dip the tomatoes in the yoghurt mixture then put them, one by one, in the polenta bowl. Toss the bowl around to coat the tomatoes completely on both sides.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the tomatoes for 3 -4 minutes per side until golden & crispy. Drain on paper towels and then serve, stacked on a plate with the lemon wedges and hot pepper sauce.
If the film is anywhere near as good as the dish then I need to download it soon. Enjoy!
Things That made Me Smile Today……
Beautiful red berries on a stick in the ground. I don’t know what they are but I bet they’re poisonous!
Pretty red bug probably eating my plants!