At the Garden & Gun Club in Atlanta, chef Ann Kim has given many of the South’s most quintessential dishes—country fried pork chops and shrimp and grits among them—her own spin. So, Kim says, it was only natural that a fried green tomato recipe made its way onto the Club’s latest menu. Plus, she says, “It helps that green tomatoes are basically available all year-round.” While the restaurant’s version comes topped with jumbo lump crab salad, Kim encourages home chefs to first master the dish’s main components: the crispy fried base and the smoky, mayo-based dipping sauce.
To give the green tomatoes a rich flavor and maximum crunch, Kim uses a buttermilk dredge and a cornmeal coating. “Southern cooks know that cornmeal makes things super crispy, but it works especially well with tomatoes since they have a higher water content,” she says. As for that dipping sauce? “I’ve always found that the best sauces start with Duke’s mayo. Mine calls for smoked tomatoes, but as long as you start with Duke’s, you could really throw anything in the bowl and it’ll come out tasting delicious.” For those short on time, Kim says you can sidestep smoking the tomatoes by adding a few drops of liquid smoke, available at the grocery store, to the mixture instead.