Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are traditional in southern cooking. They got their moment in the spotlight when a movie by that name was released to critical acclaim. The 1991 movie was based on a novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. After the release of the film a wave of fried green tomatoes recipes flooded the market and that’s when I first got acquainted with the dish .
Green tomatoes are not that easy to find and I was excited this week to find this gorgeous green specimen at the market. As you can see in the image below they were large, firm and beautiful. They did however start to turn pink after sitting on the counter for a couple of days. I bought another type of green tomatoes that were small, firm and remained green even after sitting around in my warm kitchen. My understanding of true green tomatoes is that they remain green when fully ripe. So I am not sure that the beautiful green tomatoes in the image are the real thing. Anyone out there knows more? They did however made wonderful fried tomatoes. In any event, green tomatoes are also good for pickling and making chutney.
How to serve them? They can be served on their own, with a sauce (perhaps mayo or chutney type dressing or a vinaigrette), alongside or on top of a salad, with fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic crèma or as a side dish with other foods. They are quite delicious, moist inside and crispy outside. I also make them into fried green tomato sticks and serve them the same way. Take a look below. A picture is worth a thousand words.
4 firm green tomatoes
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs or regular coarse or fine bread crumbs (more as needed)
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/3 cup oil for frying
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoon mango sauce (purchased)
A couple of drops hot pepper sauce
Garnishes: tomato chutney, fresh mozzarella, micro greens, herb mayonnaise, mayo based sauce etc.
Have all the ingredients ready:
Place flour in a shallow dish.
Whisk eggs with buttermilk and place in another shallow dish.
Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and place in another shallow dish.
Cut each tomato horizontally into 3-4 slices. Lay each slice (one at a time) in the flour dish, coating each slice lightly with flour on both sides.
Transfer the tomato into the egg and turn to coat it well.
Transfer the egg coated slice into the bread crumbs and turn gently to coat with the crumbs. You can give the tomato slices a second coating by returning the tomatoes to the egg dish (skip the flour this time) and then again into the bread crumbs. This will give the tomatoes an extra crispy coating.
When done, place the coated tomato slices on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining tomato slices.
Heat oil in a dip pan. When the oil is sufficiently hot, gently place 2-3 tomato slices in the oil. Let fry until golden, turning the slices once to cook the other side. Remove from oil, place on clean dish and finish frying the remaining slices.
To serve, stack tomatoes on a serving plate, garnish with lettuce, fresh mozzarella, tomato chutney or herb mayonnaise. Drizzle with balsamic crème and serve warm.