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Southern Fried Green Tomatoes
Planting tomato vines in the yard has always been a win-win situation. I can snag and fry green tomatoes while waiting for the others to ripen. These fried green tomatoes are so simple and delish.
Jewish immigrants made so many great impacts on the culinary world. I’ve recently started making bagels and whew, I love them so much. I had no idea the same people were responsible for the delicacy of unripened tomatoes dredged in buttermilk and fried to perfection in a cornmeal mixture. We can thank Fannie Flagg's 1987 book (later, movie) Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistle Stop Cafe (credit: dailymeal.com) for making this dish so famous in the South. The story was based on a small diner based in Irondale, AL which they were known for fried green tomatoes. Today, it is a dish associated with Lowcountry eating and can be found at some of your favorite soul food restaurants.
How to Pick and Where to Find Green Tomatoes.
Picking green tomatoes is just like picking ripened ones. I prefer to pick ones that have no soft spots. Softening and coloring means that the tomatoes are starting to ripen and can become a little on the mushy side. Luckily for me, I can usually go out to my backyard and pick green ones for frying but I’ve had great luck finding them at local farmers markets, Randazzos Fruit Market, Nino Salvaggios, and sometimes even Trader Joe’s. You’ll need a market with a nice produce department, they’re most likely to carry them since they are a very seasonal item.
In this recipe, there are instructions to pickle the green tomatoes before dredging and frying. This helps complement the tanginess of the tomatoes. It is very optional but I can say that the girls don’t be eating pickled fried green tomatoes so switch it up and try this recipe if you want to really show your homegirls, family, or man a good time!
What You Need.
3 to 4 Medium Unripened Tomatoes
1 cup of Water
1 cup of White Vinegar
1 tbsp of Brown Sugar
1 cup of Yellow Cornmeal
1 cup of All Purpose Flour
3 tsp Cajun Seasoning Blend
2 Large Eggs, beaten
½ cup Whole Buttermilk
Hot Sauce, to taste
High Smoke Point Frying Oil, peanut, or vegetable preferred
Kosher or Sea Salt, to taste after frying
What to Do:
in a medium saucepan, bring water, vinegar, brown sugar, and ½ of salt and bring to a boil. Congrats, you’ve made a simple pickling brine!
Once the pickling brine has begun boiling, add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and pickling brine to a medium bowl and allow the tomatoes to pickle.
Remove the tomatoes after 15 minutes and pat them dry with a clean paper towel.
Add the cornmeal, flour, and half of the cajun seasoning blend to a shallow plate or pan for dredging the tomatoes.
In another bowl, place half of the cajun seasoning blend, beaten eggs, buttermilk, and a few dashes of hot sauce and stir to incorporate.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet to 375 degrees.
Dredge the tomatoes in the wet mixture (buttermilk and things) and then coat them with the dry mixture. Place tomatoes in hot oil in batches and fry until golden brown on both sides.
Be sure that the slices are not touching each other or they will fry and stick but be sure not to keep bothering them during the frying process or the batter may come off in the pan and that’s not cute.
Place fried green tomatoes on a wire rack or lined baking sheet and lightly season with kosher salt while still hot. Serve warm and with dilly ranch or remoulade and enjoy!
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