It’s like milk in a bottle. It’s like a dog to scrub. Fried green tomatoes are the grail of southern cooking and their diversity is only matched by their ultimate perfection. Truth is, they’re not even that difficult to make. With a little attention sprinkled with some git er done, you’re living the southern dream.
Green tomatoes are a staple to any well set supper table and their cultural significance crosses racial and ethnic lines. Multiple ethnicities all lay claim to fried tomatoes as part of their traditions. Tomatoes originated in Mexico, corn meal from Native Americans, and the idea of frying anything came over with African slaves. All of these occurrences have come together at this moment in time to land on your dinner plate. Think of it as a shared cultural tradition that connects southerners of multiple races and ethnic groups. Just like gumbeaux.
Grandma Smith made fried green tomatoes ever since the glory days, when Alabama was winning National Championships and I was the only grandchild. My sister and a multitude of degenerate cousins have since shattered that dream. Ma Roux continued with the tradition and perfected the Fried Green Tomato to a culinary benchmark which few reach. My ex wife used to gush at how they were her favorite and she was a yankee. Do northern people even eat fried green tomatoes? They must. Who knows? This recipe article could be the impetus that puts fried tomatoes on the maps and minds of Hoosiers, Buckeyes, and folks from Illinois. How about fried tomatoes on a deep dish pizza? F’sho.
Making Fried Green Tomatoes
- Starting Out: A fried green tomato is nothing special. It’s just a tomato that’s a few days away from being red and ripe. Like you. If a green tomato sits in your kitchen for a few days, it will turn red. Green tomatoes are crispier and more solid than ripe ones so they hold together better when fried. You can fry a red tomato, but it just gets soggy.
- Slice: Tomatoes (About 1/2 inch) and dab off excess moisture.
- Breading: Mix one cup self rising flour with one cup of self rising corn meal. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of Badia All Purpose Seasoning and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper or a mess of Tony Sacheries seasoning. This is your breading for other recipes that call for it, such as fish or shrimp. Although I know a million ways to fry shrimp, this was the first.
- Skillet: Cast iron has worked for southerners since dinosaurs roamed the Tennessee Mountain Valley, but non-stick works fine. Pour enough vegetable oil in the skillet to just about cover the tomato. (see photo)
- Egg Wash: Beat two eggs with 1/4 Cup of milk
- Dip: Tomatoes in flour mix, then egg/milk mix, and then back into flour mix. This helps hold the dry mix on to the tomato. There’s nothing sillier than taking a nibble from your tomato and having all the breading slide off with it. Ugh.
- Fry: Tomatoes in oil until golden brown (2 min) and flip for the same.
- Dry: Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and dry on a wire rack or paper towels. This is also where you will be sampling the goods. If you like a little more salt, it can be added while the tomatoes are drying.
- Serve: Get those bad boys on the plate double time. They get soggy after a little while so get on it while the getting is good. Serve fried green tomatoes with tomato gravy, ranch dressing, or jalapeno cream sauce. These are so good, it won’t matter.
Fried green tomatoes are the backbone of a Southern supper table set for friends and kin. They can be your entree, your side dish, and desert. (dipped in buttermilk) Imagine the sinful pleasure of having one right in the middle of a soggy cheeseburger or egg sandwich. The ideas don’t stop there. This is Nail Travels and we know the level of quality you have come to expect. Ma Roux’d Fried Green Tomatoes are now yours. Don’t thank me. Wait till you make them for that special someone and they give you the look that says they forever are your slave. Then we’ll talk.
Just kidding about the degenerate cousins. Only the girls are sideways. The gentlemen are pillars.