Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

Growing up, Fried Green Tomatoes was only a movie. I knew green tomatoes must exist (because of the movie) but I had never seen them. I imagined they were something rather exotic. How little did I know.

In the last few years I have found out that fried green tomatoes are an entirely delicious way to use a fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Gardeners who grow tomatoes often end up with some green ones at the end of the season- they will never fully ripen but they still manage to have a lovely scent and mild flavour entirely their own. I am sure most go into the compost pile but I was lucky enough to have a friend share some with me.

I love what my friend said about some FGTs I dropped off for her, "The flavours were so delicate. Seemed the perfect way to usher fall in and say good-bye to summer."

They are ever so easy to make and I can imagine that these would be the perfect nibble any time of day (or night):

Brunch? With eggs.
Lunch? With salad.
Dinner? With anything.
Midnight snack? Yes, please!

I don't give any measurements because it is totally dependent on how many tomatoes you have- you may have one or you may have a half dozen. Adjust your ingredients according to how much you have. They must be made just before serving for best results.

Fried Green Tomatoes
The cornmeal coating can be made a smidge lighter by adding some cornflour or unbleached flour to the mix. You can serve these with mayo and sour cream mixed together and/or lemon juice & hot sauce. We mix all the ingredients together to make a spicy dip. Also delicious with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice served atop salad greens. Enjoy!

green tomatoes
unbleached flour
buttermilk (or 'soured milk'- a splash of vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk or milk substitute)
cornmeal &/or cornflour or unbleached flour
cayenne pepper, optional
grapeseed or avocado oil

1. Set up 3 dishes with rims for your "breading station" (pasta dishes or shallow bowls work well)- one with flour, one with buttermilk and one with cornmeal or cornflour (with or without cornflour or regular flour). Season flour and cornmeal liberally with salt and a pich of cayenne if desired. 
2. Pour enough oil to cover bottom of heavy frying pan (preferably cast iron). Heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Slice tomatoes into thick slices, dip both sides into flour, then buttermilk, and then into corn mixture using a fork. Slide into hot oil and cook each side for a few minutes until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a touch of salt if desired.