Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwiches With Pickled Pepper Mayo

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Note: Crispy on the outside, tart and juicy on the inside, fried-green tomatoes give an unusual twist to a classic BLT. The pickled jalapeños make for a spicy mayo. Panko breadcrumbs are larger and lighter than the traditional crumb, which could be substituted. From Meredith Deeds.

• 2 large green tomatoes, cored and cut into 12 slices, each just under 1/4-in. thick

• 1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 1/3 c. mayonnaise

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tsp. pepper juice from jar

• 1 c. flour

• 1 c. panko breadcrumbs (see Note)

• 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

• 2 eggs

• Vegetable oil for frying

• 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

• 8 slices cooked bacon

• 1 c. baby arugula

Directions

Place tomato slices on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover tomatoes with another layer of paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jalapeños and pepper juice; set aside.

Whisk flour, breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt together in shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow bowl.

Dredge a tomato slice into the flour/breadcrumb mixture. Dip into the eggs to coat, then dredge back into the flour/breadcrumb mixture to completely coat. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining tomato slices.

Place a wire rack on baking sheet. Heat 1/2-inch oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Fry half of tomatoes until golden and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer fried tomatoes to wire rack. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

Spread the mayo mixture on both sides of toasted bun. Arrange 3 slices of tomatoes on the bottom of each bun. Top with two slices of bacon, arugula and top half of bun and serve.

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