We had many unripe tomatoes in our garden when the first frost arrived, and we had to find a way to make something interesting out of them. It seemed my only real option (in my opinion) was to give fried green tomatoes a go. I’d never made them and it just made sense.
Southern dishes are always such a curious undertaking. Rich, fatty, flavourful and full of character, dishes such as red-velvet cake, deep fried chicken, fatback collard greens and pecan pie are typical staples of southern cuisine. As a Yank, I live vicariously through my Southern friends and the feeling they get about their comfort foods. Wikipedia told me that the most notable influences of Southern cuisine come from the English, Scottish, Irish, German, French, Native American and African American traditions. I enjoy taking moments to step back and savor the history of this melting pot cuisine before diving into my own version. Here are my fried green tomatoes.
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Step 1: Ingredients and Directions
Tangy Fried Green Tomatoes
6-7 medium sized firm, green tomatoes
1 cup of cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
¼ cup milk or buttermilk
Slice tomatoes into ½ inch slices. I do not recommend using end pieces as they don’t hold the cornmeal mixture very well, so be sure to make each slice flat on both sides.
In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk and lemon juice as well as some of the zest.
Combine all the dry seasoning, flour and cornmeal into a container with a top (or one that is deep enough so you can shake the contents without making a mess).
Heat a skillet or frying pan in medium high heat. Add enough oil to grease the pan with a (not too) generous layer.
Begin dipping slices of tomato one at a time into the egg mixture. Then drop them into the cornmeal mixture.
Cover the container and shake for a few seconds. Your tomato should be thoroughly coated in cornmeal.
Place coated slices in the hot pan and fry until golden brown on each side. This could about 5 minutes per side depending on the heat your stove produces.
When cooked to your satisfaction, place the slices on paper towels in order to soak up some of the grease.
Dip in hot sauce and devour while hot.