This is my favorite version of what has become, if not a truly classic dish, certainly a cliche of the times, thanks to the movie.
Fry the bacon in heavy skillet until it is golden brown. Transfer it to absorbant paper. Cut and discard the stem and blossom ends of the tomatoes and cut each tomato into 1/2" thick slices. Let the sliced tomatoes rest on absorbant paper or a tea towel . Slice the goat cheese into thin rounds and set it aside. Mix together the cornmeal, salt and pepper and dredge each slice of tomato in the mixture. Drain off all but 4 tablespoons of bacon fat and fry tomatoes in the fat over medium heat until the cornmeal browns, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. After turning once, top each slice of tomato with a round of goat cheese and place the pan in a 300 degree oven. Crumble the bacon. After 5 minutes, remove the tomatoes from the oven and transfer them to a warmed serving plate. Working quickly, pour the cream into the frying pan, place it over medium heat, and swirl the pan until the cream is hot but not boiling. Taste and season with a pinch of kosher salt and a few turns of black pepper. Strain the sauce directly onto the platter of tomatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro and crumbled bacon over the surface and serve immediately.
Copyright 1996 by Michele Anna Jordan, author of The Good Cook's Book of Tomatoes. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Check out Michele Anna Jordan's latest book: The World Is a Kitchen: Cooking Your Way Through Culture
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