Acre Restaurant’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Acre, located in Auburn, AL, is named for its actual lot size and its fresh, seasonal approach to food. Leading the charge is Chef David Bancroft, who sources from on-site gardens and orchards, local farms, and the bounty provided by the Alabama Black Belt Region. Bancroft is reinterpreting the rich heritage of Alabama cuisine describing his food as “driven by the land and what it gives us.” This fantastic stack of Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento cheese and crab is a perfect example of Bancroft’s ode to the tastes of the South.

Acre Restaurant’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 12 slices fresh green tomato
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 cups cornmeal, such as Granary Farms
  • Crystal Rémoulade (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup pimiento cheese
  • Marinated Crab (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh basil leaves
Directions

In a medium Dutch oven, fill with peanut oil to halfway full. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°.

Dip tomato slices in buttermilk; dredge in cornmeal. Cook in batches until golden brown, approximately two minutes. Let drain on paper towels.

For each serving, spread 2 tablespoons Crystal Rémoulade on the bottom of 1 plate. Top with 1 tomato slice. Spread tomato with 2 tablespoons pimento cheese. Top with another tomato slice and 2 tablespoons pimiento cheese; top with another tomato slice. Place ¼ cup Marinated Crab on top of tomato. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Note: Prepare Crystal Rémoulade and Marinated Crab first. Pick up store-bought pimiento cheese to save time, or prepare your family’s favorite recipe.

Marinated Crab

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh Gulf crab, picked clean of shells
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Dash of hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Directions

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Gently toss until combined, being careful to avoid breaking up crab. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crystal Rémoulade

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Creole mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 finely minced spicy pickle chip, such as Wickle’s
  • 1 tablespoon water
Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe by David Bancroft / Photograph by Colleen Duffley