Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

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Originally I’m from New York, however I’ve lived in the south for over 20 years and I know southern cooking. One of my favorite dishes is Fried Green Tomatoes. The first time I had them was at a little known restaurant (at the time) called Po’ Folks. They served up the best fried chicken in town at an extremely reasonable price with 3 side dishes that you chose from a huge list of goodies. One of those sides was fried green tomatoes and ever since that first bite, I was in love.

Soon after that experience, I had my own garden full of tomatoes and would frequently fry some up every season. It’s been many years since I’ve made them and recently my bushy little tomato plant produced about a dozen green tomatoes. So I decided it’s been too long since I’ve had my favorite dish & went picking yesterday.

I hope you’ll try this recipe and tell me what you think, or share one of your favorite side dishes.

Ingredients:

  • Green Tomatoes (of course), about 6-8 small-medium sized
  • Cornmeal (since I didn’t have any on hand, I substituted with a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, came out a little sweeter than I would have liked, but delicious just the same) You can also substitute Polenta if you don’t have cornmeal.
  • Flour
  • 2 Eggs & a splash of water (or milk or cream)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil for frying

Tools Needed:

  • 3 small bowls
  • 3 forks (one for each bowl)
  • Tongs (I like to use 2 pairs, one for putting them in the pan & one for taking them out)
  • Frying pan

Preparations:

  1. Wash your tomatoes & dry well. Then slice all of your tomatoes, not too thick & not too thin.
  2. Heat oil on the lowest setting. You don’t want your oil to get too hot too fast and you’ll be cooking your tomatoes on this low setting to prevent them from burning. This will also allow them to soften & brown evenly at the same time.
  3. Put flour, eggs & cornmeal each into a bowl & set them out on the counter in this order for preparation near your stove. Organization makes this easier.
  4. Season your flour & cornmeal with salt & pepper.
  5. Scramble your eggs with a fork in the bowl with the water (or milk or cream). Adding liquid makes it a little fluffier but you don’t have to add if you don’t want to. An alternative to eggs would be milk or buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk and want to use buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of whole milk, stir & let sit for about 5 minutes. This will turn it into buttermilk.

Now Let’s Start Cooking!

  1. Drop a tomato slice into the flour & turn to give it a light dusting.
  2. Transfer slice to egg bowl and coat until wet, gently turning over in the egg wash.
  3. Transfer slice to cornmeal bowl. With the cornmeal, you just want to drop the slice into the bowl, take your fork and from under the slice, flip it over to coat both sides. You don’t want to handle it too much because the coating comes off easily.
  4. With a pair of tongs, put the slice gently into the hot oil.
  5. Repeat with as many slices as will fit in your pan, but do not overcrowd. Cook about 3-5 minutes until golden brown and turn over. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan (with 2nd pair of tongs if you are using 2 pairs) and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all tomatoes are done.

Enjoy!

Image   Fried Green Tomatoes

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