For the Fried Heirloom Tomatoes and Buttermilk Fried Oysters:
4medium sized oysters
2medium to large firm heirloom tomatoessliced in 1/2 inch slices
several dashes Tabasco Original Red Sauce
1/2cupall purpose flour
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
Make the Green Pepper Aioli:
Peel and mash the garlic along with the salt, finely mincing and pressing with the side of the knife to create a paste. Place the garlic in a small bowl, season with some freshly cracked black pepper and whisk in the egg yolk until it is creamy. As you whisk, begin to add the olive oil gradually: begin with just a few drops of olive oil, fully whisking until the yolks thicken and emulsify. Continue adding the olive oil in drops, then in a very slow stream, continually whisking. It should be thick and very creamy. Stir in the buttermilk, Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce and season with Tabasco Original Red Sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This can be done a few days in advance.
Make the Fried Heirloom Tomatoes and Buttermilk Fried Oysters:
Shuck the oysters and discard the shells. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, salt and Tabasco. Divide the buttermilk mixture in half. In one bowl, marinate the oysters in the buttermilk bath for about 10 minutes. Set the other half of the buttermilk mixture in a shallow bowl.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oil in your deep fryer or deep sided sauté pan to 350° F.
Remove each oyster one at a time and let the excess buttermilk drip off, then dredge in the flour mixture.
Place in the hot oil, and working in batches, let it the oysters fry for about 1 minute per side, until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters and set it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool slightly.
Take the tomato slices and dredge in the flour mixture, coating on all sides. Quickly dip into the reserved buttermilk mixture, then dip into the panko breadcrumbs, coat on all sides.
Working in batches, fry the tomatoes in the hot oil, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden and crispy. Retrieve the tomatoes using a slotted spoon or tongs, and set on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Fried Heirloom Tomatoes and Buttermilk Fried Oysters inspired by and adapted from Boulevard: The Cookbook (Oakes, Mazzola & Weiss, 2005). Aioli sauce adapted from The Creamiest Aioli Recipe, Suzanne Goin, via Bon Appetit (April, 2012).