Fried Pickled Tomatoes

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Bursting with bright, tangy flavor from the pickling liquid, these fried tomatoes are our new favorite appetizer.

Fried Pickled Tomatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture from Quick Pickled Tomatoes (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • Quick Pickled Tomatoes (recipe follows)
Quick Pickled Tomatoes
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pound firm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small green tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup sprigs fresh dill
Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; top with a wire rack.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, reserved vinegar mixture, chives, dill, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Fill a large cast-iron Dutch oven halfway full with oil, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
  4. In a shallow dish, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, onion powder, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, hot sauce, and egg. Working with a few Quick Pickled Tomato pieces at a time, dredge in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in milk mixture, letting excess drip off. Dredge in cornmeal mixture again, shaking off excess. Place on prepared rack until ready to fry.
  5. Working in batches, gently place tomatoes in hot oil; fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let drain on prepared rack. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately with mayonnaise mixture.
QUICK PICKLED TOMATOES
  1. In a medium enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, garlic, and turmeric to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; let cool completely.
  2. Divide tomatoes among glass jars. Add vinegar mixture and dill. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving or up to 8 hours. Reserve 3 tablespoons pickling liquid for dipping sauce for Fried Pickled Tomatoes.