Fried Green Tomato Eggs Benedict
Crisp, savory fried green tomatoes topped with smoked ham, poached eggs, and spicy hollandaise sauce. Makes an amazing brunch!
- 2 large green tomatoes, sliced thick (about 6 slices per tomato)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- Seasoned salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 6 eggs, poached
- 12 slices smoked ham, thinly sliced (deli ham is fine)
- Oil or grease for frying (bonus points if you have bacon drippings)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, unsalted), melted
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 8 to 10 peppercorns
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- For the hollandaise: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Reduce by a third over high heat, down to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and strain out the peppercorns and bay leaf. Allow to cool.
- Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat in the reduced vinegar. With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly drizzle in the melted butter until it has all been added. Whisk in the salt, and cayenne pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt as needed. Set aside.
- For the tomatoes: sprinkle the tomatoes liberally on both sides with seasoned salt and a few turns of cracked black pepper. Dredge the tomatoes generously in the cornmeal, lightly patting the cornmeal into the tomatoes to coat them completely on both sides. Let the tomatoes rest for about 5 minutes before frying.
- Heat about 1/2" of oil or drippings in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is ready, fry the tomatoes until the crust is golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Remove to a wire rack.
- Poach the eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 inches of water, and bring to a low simmer. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The yolk should still be soft and runny in center. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the eggs from the water, and move to a warm plate lined with a paper towel (to soak up any excess water).
- To serve: Place 2 slices of tomato on a plate, overlapping the slices slightly. Pile on 2 thin slices of ham, and top the ham with a poached egg. Spoon a tablespoon or 2 of the hollandaise over the eggs. Repeat as needed with the remaining tomatoes, ham, and eggs. Serve immediately.
- For a more compact poached egg, try breaking the egg into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. The watery portion will drain through, leaving the thicker egg white and yolk, which may then be carefully dropped into the simmering water.