Fried Green Tomatoes

Friday, October 22, 2010

No. Not the chick flick. The southern delicacy. Other than a feeble attempt to make them once years ago -- one that Mrs. Van Horn helpfully reminded me of last night as I cooked -- I am pretty sure that I otherwise hadn't had these in at least a decade before last night.

Luckily, an old friend who lives up here recalled my mention of fried green tomatoes as I admired the tomato vines in their back yard this summer at a barbecue. We're due for frost up here soon, so he picked all the green fruit and handed the bag over to me Wednesday at lunch.

Last night, I finally got around to cooking these with a recipe based on one my brother emailed me. They turned out okay, but needed more salt and pepper. (That's my fault, not his.) I also find the idea of a trying a little remoulade sauce on the side interesting, although also bordering on gilding the lily. (That idea came from the earlier Wikipedia link.)

Since I have enough tomatoes on hand for a second round, I'll probably tweak the recipe a little bit, as indicated below. (And I may go so far as to make a couple of batches of breading since that will probably be it until next year.)

If anyone is actually interested in making this, please pay attention to my notes in italics, as these include both recommendations and changes I am pretty sure will lead to improvements.

-- CAV


Fried Green Tomatoes
(A Work in Progress)


bacon grease or cooking oil, 1/2" deep -- If using cooking oil, at least add some bacon grease for improved flavor.
green tomatoes, 2 large -- I estimate that I used the equivalent of 3-4 large and had some breading left over.
milk, 1 cup -- Just fill a small, flat-bottomed bowl up to an inch or two. I might try buttermilk some time down the road.
flour, 1/2 cup -- I may raise this to 3/4 cup.
corn meal, 1/2 cup -- If I use more flour, I'll lower this accordingly.
salt, 1 tsp -- This was too little: I'll use 2 tsp next.
pepper, 1 tsp -- This was too little: I'll use 2 tsp next.


1. While heating oil to 350 degrees, cut tomatoes into slices 3/8 inch thick.

2. In parallel with the next step, soak tomato slices in milk for a minute or two.

3. Mix flour, corn meal, salt, and pepper together in a sealable container.

4. Dredge tomato slices in flour-meal mixture and transfer to hot grease/oil.

5. Flip the slices when golden. -- This took about 3 minutes per side.

6. Take out of grease/oil and drain on paper towel.


kelleyn said...

I remember my mom absolutely loving these and making them several times a week during the summer. She made the Pennsylvania Dutch version, with white flour and no wash; I think she learned it from the Amish, actually. She ate them all herself because neither I nor my dad could stand them. I seriously wished I could like them, and at one point I sat down to give it a serious try and failed. I keep thinking I should try again, since I'm an adult now; but every time I approach it I hear in my mind, "Would you eat them on a boat? Would you eat them with a goat?" :-)

Gus Van Horn said...

Hah! That reminds me of how everyone in my family liked watermelon, except Dad. He just could not stand it. Same with beets.

Perhaps, if you're feeling equally adventurous and dubious, you could make them on the side when you have guests (whom you know like them) over for dinner or a party. Then, the worst that would happen would be that there would be more for them.

I'll probably call my Mom before making these again, because I'd swear she used just flour. Of course, for all I know, my brother got his recipe from her...