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Monday, July 25, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

I couldn't wait for all these gorgeous tomatoes hanging on our tomato vines to come ripe (and I'm a little scared of how many tomatoes we'll have when they do), so I thinned the herd and made fried green tomatoes. 

I prefer Paula Deen's buttermilk-and-flour recipe to the cornmeal-dredged recipes I've eaten before.  Using actual buttermilk (rather than reconstituted from dry buttermilk powder) produces a thicker batter coating, but you can get tasty results with the thinner reconstituted buttermilk as well.  The upside to a flour-egg wash-cornmeal coating, however, is that you can do all the dredging ahead and freeze those guys.  Just fry them from their frozen state.  The flour coating will turn into glue in the freezer.  So pick your process and product.

You can also can sliced green tomatoes for future frying.  If you still have a bumper crop of green tomatoes right before your first killing frost in the fall, you can put them up same as you would ripe tomatoes.  Slice them, pack them into clean canning jars, add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to each quart canned, fill with hot water and process for 45 minutes in a boiling water bath.  They'll come out softer than if they were fresh, but they're still dredge-able and fry-able. 

Lastly, an A.Ma.Zing thing to do with leftover fried green tomatoes is make paninis with bacon and provolone...put a few fried green tomatoes on a hoagie roll with a slice of provolone and a couple slices of bacon, and toast it up in a sandwich press (or a George Foreman grill, which is our ersatz panini press).

Fried Green Tomatoes, Two Ways
Makes 4-6 servings

4 medium firm green tomatoes, sliced 1/2" thick (about 3 or 4 slices per tomato)
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

For freezer-friendly cornmeal coating:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
3/4 cup cornmeal

For buttermilk-flour coating:
1/4 cup buttermilk powder + 3/4 cup water OR 1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self rising flour (or 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder)

Season tomato slices with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare freezer-friendly tomatoes, dip each slice in flour, then egg wash, then cornmeal.  Put on a baking sheet and freeze.  Store in a freezer bag.

To prepare buttermilk tomatoes, whisk buttermilk powder into water until thoroughly mixed.  Dip each slice in buttermilk then in self rising flour.  Cook immediately.

Fried Green Tomatoes (foreground), Bacon (background)
Pour oil to a depth of 1/4" in a large high-sided skillet (I like a square electric skillet for this).  Heat over slightly higher than medium heat or to 350F on the electric skillet.  Do not thaw frozen tomato slices.  Fry tomato slices until crispy and golden, about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.  Pin It

1 comment:

  1. My brother makes a neopolitan appetizer with fried green tomatoes, fresh red tomatoes and queso fresco. Yum!