Prepare and start marinating the tomatoes early in the day. Cut
the stem button out of each tomato and cut it in half lengthwise.
Trim off a small slice on the round side of each tomato half and
discard it. Then cut each half, lengthwise, into 2 slices, each
about 1/2 inch thick. Pack the tomato slices into a bowl.
In a saucepan, slowly stir the 2 cups of water into the mustard
powder and tomato paste until the mixture is smooth. Add the 2
tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, the 2 teaspoons
of salt, the celery salt and cayenne. Bring the mixture to simmer
over medium heat then simmer it, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour
the hot marinade over the tomatoes in the bowl and set a saucer
with a weight upon it on them to keep them submerged, and allow
them to marinate at least 6 hours.
Just before serving time, drain the tomatoes in a large strainer
set over a bowl. Measure out the drained marinade liquid and add
enough water to it if necessary to bring the total measurement
to 3 cups. Dissolve the cornstarch in the liquid and bring it
to simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat while stirring
constantly, with a rubber spatula. When the liquid simmers, reduce
the heat slightly and simmer 2 minutes longer, still stirring
constantly. The sauce will be very thick and is meant to be so.
Keep the sauce warm, covered with a trimmed piece of paper towel
and lid, over very low heat until serving.
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy, 10-inch frying pan over medium
high heat. There will be around 8 tomato slices per serving so
work in batches of 8. Meanwhile, lightly salt both sides of each
slice, dredge it in a bowl of the flour and set it on a plate.
(Do not dredge more than 8 slices ahead of time, they get soggy.)
Fry the floured tomato slices for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side
until they are golden brown. Do not overcook them. They retain
their heat for a long time and consequently continue to cook after
they are removed from the pan. We want them to remain crisp. Drain
the fried slices for a moment on paper towels.
Transfer them to
a warm dinner plate and serve the fried green tomatoes, immediately,
along with a small, warm bowl of the equally divided marinade
Recipe from "Dining With Delphina"