2 tablespoons scallions, chopped fine (tops and bottoms)
2 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely minced
Core and slice the tomatoes horizontally into ¼ inch slices. Lay out on a sheet pan covered with paper towels. Sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over both sides and let tomatoes sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
Prepare three medium bowls. Place flour, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme in one, eggs and buttermilk whipped into the second bowl, and both types of cornmeal and bread crumbs into the third bowl.
Place a cast iron skillet over a burner and fill half to three quarters full with the oil.
Dice the scallion garnish and set aside.
Mix all dip ingredients and set aside.
Heat the oil to no more than 350 degrees F. Too hot and they will burn before cooking through. If the temperature drops to 325 F that is fine. Just keep it between 325 and 350 degrees F.
Dredge the tomato slices first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture then the corn meal mixture, patting the breading so it stays. Once you have all of them breaded, begin frying in 2-3 batches. They will sink then float. Once they float and turn golden, remove with a strainer or spider to paper towels to drain, about 3-5 minutes.
Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
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