Chef Thornton of CURED Table & Tap and 18th & 21st takes the helm in the kitchen at this cool restaurant concept that features two unique dining experiences under one roof. “While I’m driven by the visual art of food creation, and strive for ‘the wow effect,’ by using big, bold presentation, I like simple food that tastes great and fried green tomatoes is one of my favorite dishes,” he says.
Wash the tomatoes, then dry them and slice the tomatoes about ¼” thick and set aside.
Herb Cream Cheese
Let the cream cheese come to room temperature. While you wait for that, take the herbs off the stems and chop them finely. Then, mix all the herbs in a bowl with the cream cheese and lemon juice. Mix until creamy and add salt and pepper to taste.
Take 1 slice of tomato and put a 1-ounce scoop of filling on it. If you don’t have a scoop, a tablespoon will work. Then, take another slice of tomato and place it on top. Press the 2 tomato slices gently together, spreading the filling outward like a sandwich and repeat. When finished, place the tomatoes in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
While you’re waiting for the tomatoes, beat the eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the flour. In another bowl, add the cornmeal and panko.
Once you have pulled the tomatoes out of the freezer, bread them using the standard breading procedure. Once you are finished, put them in the freezer while you wait for your oil to heat up.
Brian Thornton, Executive Chef at CURED Table & Tap and 18th & 21st (Columbia)