Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fried Green Tomatillo "CLT" with Smoky Remoulade

I am really honored to be asked to post for Meatout, "the world's largest grass roots dietary and education campaign".  On March 20th,  Meatout's hosting a virtual blogging event where lots of bloggers will  be making special posts to support Meatout.  I am happy to be amongst the crowd participating.  Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers posts, too! I know many of these folks from the blogosphere, Twitter and Facebook and I am sure there will be LOTS of good stuff!

As I thought about a special recipe to post I wanted to try something new.  I had recently watched an episode of Bobby Flay's "Throw Down" where they made fried green tomato BLTs.  They looked so good, and as I watched I was sure I could make a vegan version I would be proud to challenge Bobby Flay with!

Since it is still too early to head out to the garden and pick my own green tomatoes and  grocery stores are not selling them right now I knew I would have to improvise.  I settled on fried green tomatillos. Why not? They are green and yummy and the name even sounds like tomato!

As I thought about a bacon substitute I decided not to go for the predictable fakin' bacon but to try my hand at coconut bacon.  Yes, ...coconut bacon.  Some friends on Twitter had been discussing coconut I did two batches (well, actually I did three if you count the one I burned and had to throw out).  One batch I did with dried, unsweetened, flaked coconut.  The other with fresh coconut. I cannot tell you how good this is!  Preparing the fresh coconut version is a lot of work (but well worthwhile). If you are not up to the task of dealing with a fresh coconut the dried will work just fine.  I had to keep my omnivore family from eating it all before I could get the rest of the sandwich made!

Thanks, Meatout for the opportunity to share in this day and I hope that you realize and exceed your goal of serving veg- curious folks great vegan food, thus exposing them to the wonderful world of veganism!

Fried Green Tomatillo "CLT" with Smoky Remoulade

For the coconut bacon:
1 fresh coconut or 3 large handfuls dried unsweetened flaked
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp maple syrup

For the fried green tomatillos:
4 tomatillos sliced about 1/2" thick
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
Olive oil for frying

For the remoulade and assembly:
Thick sour dough bread slices
1 tomato, sliced
 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

To prepare the coconut bacon:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a small dish mix together the liquid smoke, water, tamari soy sauce and maple syrup.  If using fresh coconut you will need to have removed the meat and brown "skin" from about 1/3 of the coconut and sliced it thinly.  Place it into the liquid mixture and allow to soak for about five minutes.  If using shredded coconut you can skip the soaking step. Place either the shredded or fresh coconut on a shallow baking dish (a jelly roll pan works well).  Pour the liquid over top. For the shredded coconut version make sure to mix the liquid into the flakes well.  Place in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned and somewhat crispy (it will crisp up more as it cools).  Set aside as this is to be used room temperature.

Prepare the remoulade:
In a dish or bowl mix the Vegan mayonnaise, horseradish, Dijon mustard and smoked paprika.  Set aside.

For the fried green tomatillos:*
Place olive oil in the bottom of a skillet and turn heat to medium. Place the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder in a shallow dish. Place non dairy milk in a second shallow dish and the cornmeal in a third.  Dip each tomatillo first in the flour, then the non dairy milk and then the cornmeal. Make sure they are well coated.  Place into the heated oil and fry until each side is golden brown, about 2 minutes a side. Drain on papertowels or brown paper.

Make the sandwich:
In the same skillet you used to fry the tomatillos melt the Earth Balance and place the bread in the pan and cook until nicely browned on each side.  Remove from the pan, spread some of the remoulade on the slices of bread, stack the fried green tomatillos, tomato slices, coconut bacon and lettuce on a slice of bread. Top with a second, cut down the middle and serve.

*Note: if you want a healthier, lower calorie/fat version of the fried green tomatillo you could certainly bake these. I would suggest baking at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (flipping once during cooking) or until golden brown and heated through on each side.


  1. Looks Great! Will have to try this coconut bacon some day.
    /Emma @The Vegan Swedes

  2. Oh wow, this sounds fabulous. Will be making this very soon. Thank you for the option to use the dried flaked or fresh coconut.

  3. That looks amazing, Lee! Coconut bacon and fried green tomatillos made with So Delicious coconut milk? I hope you saved me some!

  4. Coconut bacon? Now I think I have heard every possible thing you can do with coconut! I love coconut and am continually amazed by its long list of healthy properties. AND I love green tomatoes. Actually, I prefer green tomatoes to red ones. So this sandwich sounds like it is right up my alley! I will try it and let you know how many batches I burn! :-) Thank you, Lee, for participating in this Meatout bloggers' event! We so appreciate your contribution and look forward to seeing many, many more recipes! What a great community of bloggers! Cheers for all the animals! ~ Cindi

  5. Is the coconut young or Brown mature?