Red team recruit Tracey Gold’s first course is displayed, as seen on Worst Cooks in America, Season 23.
Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell

Fried Green Tomatoes with Burst Cherry Tomatoes, Pancetta and Lobster

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings



  1. Place the sliced green tomatoes onto a sheet tray lined with a rack and sprinkle with some kosher salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Set up a dredging station by placing 1 cup of the flour into one dish, the eggs into a second and the cornmeal mixed with the remaining 1/4 cup flour into a third. Pat the green tomatoes dry on both sides. Season with more kosher salt, then dip a slice into the flour first, shaking off any excess, then into the egg and finally the cornmeal. Place onto a sheet tray lined with a rack and repeat with the remaining tomato slices. Make sure to pat the cornmeal onto the tomato firmly to ensure it’s tightly coated.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large, high sided saute pan and turn on the heat to low. Add the pancetta and smashed garlic and gently cook to slowly render the fat, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered out, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle the lobster tails with kosher salt. Add into the pan, cut side down, and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to turn pink. Add the white wine and cover the pan to steam the lobster for another 1 to 2 minutes to finish cooking. Remove the lobster tails onto a sheet tray and allow to cool slightly. Add the cherry tomatoes and crushed red pepper and season with kosher salt. Cook until the cherry tomatoes begin to burst, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the smashed garlic. Season with kosher salt if needed.
  4. Carefully remove the meat from lobster shells and discard the shells. Toss the lobster meat into the sauce to quickly warm.
  5. Heat a large saute pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the breaded green tomatoes (you want to cook these in two batches) and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crispy on the underside. Carefully flip, then cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil, then transfer to a sheet tray lined with a rack so they remain crispy. Season immediately with kosher salt.
  6. Set up a fryer with vegetable oil and heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the basil leaves until crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful because as they will pop in the oil. Remove the basil leaves onto a paper-towel-lined sheet tray.
  7. To serve, plate 2 fried green tomatoes and top with 2 lobster halves. Spoon the burst cherry tomato and pancetta sauce around the green tomatoes, making sure not to smother them so the fried tomatoes don’t get soggy. Garnish the tomato sauce with the grated Parmesan cheese and top with the fried basil leaves.