The Washington Post

Cheesy Pan-Fried Tomato Stacks

Cheesy Pan-Fried Tomato Stacks 8.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Top Tomato 2008 winner Aug 13, 2008

These are rich sandwiches made without bread: A combination of soft herbed cheese and bacon goes between thick slices of tomato, then the short stacks are breaded and sauteed on the stove top.

These are fun to eat like a messy sandwich; or use a knife and fork, if you prefer. Using a sharp knife, cut the warm stacks into quarters to serve as hors d'oeuvres.

For filling variations, a mix of cream cheese and blue cheese could be used (without the bacon), which would make a nice sandwich to accompany grilled steak. Replace the bacon with a thin slice of roast beef and use brie for a lunchtime sandwich, or make it meatless with homemade pesto and shavings of Parmesan cheese.


Servings:
8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes 8 half-stack servings

Ingredients
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total), cut across the horizon into 8 slices that are 1/2 inch thick
  • Two (5.2-ounce) packages garlic- and herb-flavored soft cheese, such as Boursin, at room temperature
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp, then drained
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fine sea or table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned fine dried breadcrumbs

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Directions

Place the tomato slices between paper towels for 15 minutes to drain any excess juices.

Make at least 4 matching pairs of similar-size slices. Spread a 1/4-inch thick layer of cheese on one side of each tomato slice. Crumble the bacon and divide evenly over four of the slices. Mate the halves together to make sandwiches.

Line a platter with a tea towel or paper towel and place it near the stove. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering.

Set out three shallow bowls. In one, whisk together the flour and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. In the next, whisk together the eggs. In the third, put the the breadcrumbs. Coat both sides of each sandwich first in the seasoned flour, then in the egg and then in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess bread crumbs, but making sure the sandwiches are well covered.

Transfer the sandwiches to the skillet and cook them until a golden brown crust forms, 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully turn them over and cook until golden brown on the second side, another 2 to 3 minutes. (If working in batches, add more oil as needed.) Transfer to the prepared platter to drain slightly; serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Mary Jo Sweeney of Crownsville, Md., first-place winner of the Food section's 2008 Top Tomato Recipe Contest.

Tested by Susan Kovach Shuman.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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