Friday, August 10, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Fried green tomatoes, topped with shrimp in a fresh tomato basil cream sauce.
Fried green tomatoes, topped with shrimp in a fresh tomato basil cream sauce.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Recently, I was watching a feature on our local TV channel, where a local restaurant (now closed), was featured. They showed an appetizer dish from their menu, of fried green tomatoes with shrimp, in a tomato basil cream sauce. Well, it looked so good, I knew I had to make my own version of it. I don't know if this is anything like what they have on their menu, but it sure is mighty good and makes a fantastic main dish too.

We're winding down on tomato season already here in the Deep South, and this is a chance to enjoy both green and red tomatoes in one dish. This sauce is excellent served with pasta, crab would be great too, but if you're not a big fan of seafood, it's perfect with Italian sausage too.

I've included the fried green tomato recipe that I posted last week when I wanted something sturdier than my usual cornmeal version, though if you already have a favorite way of making them, certainly use that. Save the larger shrimp for frying, stuffing, or for New Orleans style BBQ shrimp though, and use the less expensive, smaller sized shrimp for this dish. I had picked out some of the smaller shrimp from some leftover boiled shrimp.

Fried green tomatoes, topped with shrimp in a fresh tomato basil cream sauce.

Doesn't that sauce just look fabulous? By the way, it's quite good with pasta too! Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


For the Shrimp Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup of onion
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of peeled and chopped tomatoes, juices retained
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped basil
  • 1 pound of small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
  • 3 medium sized green tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of milk or buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of self rising flour
  • 1/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

For the sauce, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook just until translucent, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices, salt, pepper, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, sugar, parsley and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink; stir in the cream and heat through. Hold over low while you prepare the fried green tomatoes.

Meanwhile, for the fried green tomatoes, slice tomatoes 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, set on paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Let rest for 5 minutes. Beat together the milk and egg in a small bowl; set aside. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cracker crumbs and Cajun seasoning. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet. Dip the tomato slices in the milk, then into the flour mixture, shake off excess and place into the hot oil. Cook until both sides are lightly browned and drain on paper towels. Place two to three green tomato slices on a serving plate per person and spoon some of the shrimp sauce over the tomatoes.

Cook's Notes: May substitute 2 (15 ounce) cans of stewed tomatoes, chopped, but undrained. Use your kitchen shears to cut them up right in the can. Dried herbs may also be substituted for the fresh parsley and basil, but reduce to 1 teaspoon. Also okay to use already cooked shrimp, simply add to warm through at the end, but take into consideration any seasonings.

This sauce is also great for pasta. Before adding cream, add in 3/4 cup of the pasta water or chicken stock, heat to boiling, reduce, stir in the cream and warm through. Toss sauce with your choice of cooked pasta. May also substitute fresh crab, or cooked crumbled Italian sausage for the seafood, or serve without any protein, if desired.

Seafood Pan Roast: Prepare as above, omitting the fried green tomatoes, and doubling the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Spoon into soup bowls with a 1/2 cup sized scoop of hot, steamed rice. May also stir in cooked oysters (cook in seafood stock or plain water, until edges curl) and/or crabmeat.



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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on August 10, 2012
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