This year has been a long growing season for tomatoes, but alas the weather is turning colder (at least in the north-east). It is time to pluck those last remaining tomatoes from your garden and hopefully they are a nice deep green.
There are many ways to enjoy those emerald gems, but one I found that sent everyone raving on the night of game 3 of the World Series and that fateful call against the Red Sox on Saturday, was the simple Fried Green Tomatoes. Out of all the dishes there, and a number I brought that I slaved over, this simple dish was the clear winner of the night.
It is easy, the time-consuming part comes in doing the triple steps for the breading, but well worth it.
Get out that vegetable oil, dutch oven/deep pot and find out what all those southerners have known since childhood to be some of the best food out there. I assume you don’t have a deep fryer – if you do – all the better. But any pan with sides at least 4 inches high will be enough (if you are using a fry pan, use less oil, and sear on both sides).
This recipe gives these delicious bites a little bite. that is the cayenne pepper. If you don’t want that heat, you can omit it or reduce the amounts. You can also substitute a few drops of tobacco in the wet mixture if desired. The little kick was great. I don’t eat spicy hot food, and these were ok for me to eat.
8 – 12 medium green tomatoes (they can be any size, and number, take note the amounts below may need to be adjusted should you have more or larger tomatoes)
enough vegetable oil to come 2 inches up the sides of the pan
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup Buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, use cream with 1/2 TBS lemon juice)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (can be reduced if concerned about too much heat)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 TBS garlic powder
1 cup ground cornmeal
1 cup panko bread crumbs (don’t have panko – you can substitute regular bread crumbs)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
- Slice the top and thinly slice the bottom off the tomato.
- Slice the tomato into 1/4 rounds, set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Flour mixture to evenly combine.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together the Wet mixture until smooth
- On a plate or small flat pan with sides, mix together the coating by hand crunching and combining the bread crumbs, cornmeal, salt and pepper
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or place a wire cooking rack on top.
- Line up the bowls/platters in an assembly line: Tomatoes, flour, wet mixture, coating and baking sheet.
- You can do one at a time, or a couple at a time. I usually use tongs so my fingers don’t get caked going from dry to wet to dry – but that is fine too, you just may need to wash your hands a few times.
- So, first you toss the slice in the flour to lightly coat. shake off excess flour (hand as perfectly fine for this step).
- Second, dip it in the wet mixture to evenly coat, shaking off extra – i twirl it around the bowl to release the extra. this is where I use tongs.
- Third, place the round into the coating mix, and sprinkle the top with some of the mix, and press down, then flip over and press down again so the coating sticks to each side.
- Fourth, Place on the baking sheet/wire cooling rack to set.
- Repeat until all rounds have been floured, dipped and coated.
- Cooking: Heat the oil in a pot and bring to 350 degrees (you can use a candy thermometer you can easily find these in the “kitchen” section of the grocery store. They are not expensive and a great tool to have).
- Prepare a second baking sheet with a wire cooling rack or lined with paper towels.
- Once the oil is ready, using tongs or a metal slotted spoon, lower the slices into the oil (add multiple slices, but don’t over crowd as the oil will drop in temperature and the slices will end up steaming vs frying, ex: if you think the pan can old 8, put in 4 – 5). This may take several batches to complete. No problem.
- Flip/ after 30 seconds to a minute to set both sides, and prevent sticking.
- Cook until golden brown throughout and the edges are slightly darker. About 3 – 4 minutes in total.
- Remove the slices either with a tong or metal slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet to cook and remove extra oil.
Once all the slices are done, if you are not serving immediately, let cool and leave at room temperature. When ready to serve, place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until heated through and the coating re-crisps. I would not recommend doing these the day before. Doing earlier in the same day is fine.
What to serve with these delicious bites? Remoulade of course!
REMOULADE (This can be made up to two days in advance)
1/2 cup mayo
1 TBS Horseradish
1 TBS Spicy Brown Mustard (Dijon is fine too)
1 Stalk Green Onion, thinly sliced
3 – 4 drops Tabasco (optional)
Mix all in a bowl until smooth and all ingredients and mixed together.
Taste and adjust with more horseradish, Tabasco, mustard or mayo to suit your taste buds.
Use the sauce for dipping the green delicious rounds – or serve the rounds, with a dollop of the sauce and top with a couple of pieces of fresh micro herbs.
I hope you had a bountiful tomato season and can use this recipe. It is very yummy.