When you meet me, “Southern belle” is most likely not the first thing to come to mind. Atlanta is a very cosmopolitan city, so growing up I didn’t exactly get the full on “Southern experience” that most people associate with the South (read: Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty should not inform your notions of the South). I suppose a lot of my girl friends did wear cowboy boots, and there was one kid at my high school who was known to fly a Confederate flag from his car.. but those people don’t represent the South as a whole! I think the one thing that truly unites the South is our love for good ol’ southern cookin’.
A few of the things that Southerners love: grits, buttermilk biscuits, sweet tea, pecan pie, cornbread, collard greens, fried okra, fried chicken, and of course, fried green tomatoes! The list goes on and on, but the sad truth is that most of these dishes that hail from the deep South aren’t great for you… Pretty much all of them are full of sugar and gluten, deep fried in peanut oil, or extremely nutrient poor. So I’m officially on a quest to create healthier, grain free, refined sugar free versions of some of my Southern favorites! That would make a pretty sweet cookbook wouldn’t it? I think I might have to add that to my bucket list…
I was actually inspired to create this recipe after discovering Bacon’s Heir, a local company with a quest to reinvent the pork rind. Their “Pork Clouds” are absolutely amazing. They’re essentially a sophisticated and healthier version of the pork rinds that you find at gas stations. Kettle cooked in GMO free olive oil, Bacon’s Heir Pork Clouds come in 3 flavors: malabar black pepper, habañero pepper, and rosemary & sea salt (my fave!) They also sell “Pork Dust,” a.k.a. finely ground pork rinds, which makes the perfect substitute for bread crumbs! Bacon’s Heir owner and founder Brett was kind enough to hook me up with some samples, and when he gave me the Pork Dust, I knew that something breaded and fried was in my future. As I explained before, I’m on a quest to create belly friendly versions of Southern cuisine, so Pork Dust was like a godsend considering the plethora of Southern recipes that call for bread crumbs.
And so here we are! My first Paleo Southern comfort food recipe! What do you guys think about a series (or potentially cookbook!) of Paleo Southern cuisine?? Are there any particular Southern dishes that you’ve been missing since going Paleo?
P.S. You can get your own pork clouds and pork dust here!
P.P.S. I’m gonna go ahead and toot my own horn and say that these fried green tomatoes are freakin’ awesome.
- Slide the tomatoes ¼-1/2 inch thick, discarding the ends.
- Put the almond milk, almond flour, whisked eggs and Pork Dust into 4 separate shallow dishes. You're going to prepare the tomatoes in an assembly line fashion. First dip them in the almond milk, then coat them in a thin layer of almond flour. Next dip them in the whisked eggs, and finally give them a generous coat of Pork Dust. Set aside your prepared tomatoes on a large plate in a single layer.
- Melt 2½ tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the ghee is hot (shimmering but not smoking) place a few of the prepared tomato slices in the pan and fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Once golden, remove tomato slices from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Add remaining ghee to the pan and repeat the frying process with the remaining slices.
- Serve warm with a dollop of Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayo, homemade mayo, or goat cheese if that's your thing!