Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Chick [ A Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes ]

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Happy Sunday!  I hope it will be a relaxing day for you as you prepare for the week ahead.  I'm working on some weekend sewing today but thought I'd first hop on here to share my Farmers Market find from yesterday...Green Tomatoes! Yum!!   I think this is my main motivation for hitting up the Farmer's Market, other than the obvious reason of supporting locally made/grown.  I was so excited find three perfect green tomatoes that I knew I'd be frying up for dinner.

As I was prepping them I thought This would make for an awesome post!  So.... I decided to share my recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.  Now, before I get started please understand that I do not claim to be from the south... I'm an Army Brat raised in Westchester County, New York... but I moved south (North Carolina) after high school and have always loved Southern Food, Culture, Architecture, and Life.  This is simply my way of enjoying Fried Green Tomatoes... I ain't Paula Deen!

Here is my recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes (my yankee-moved-south version, haha)!

What you'll need:
~ 2-3 medium, firm, Green Tomatoes
~ Cornmeal (I use House Autry plain yellow cornmeal)
~ FatFree Half n' Half (I use Land o' Lakes)
~Ol' Bay Seasoning (just a dash or so)
~ Oil for frying (and a skillet)
~Salt (optional)
~Remoulade Sauce (optional... but SO yummy!)

Start by slicing your tomatoes to about 1/3 in thick (I obviously slice at random thickness, but 1/3" is what I shoot for, ha)

Pour your Half n' Half into a shallow dish/bowl. 

~Go ahead and fill the skillet with oil, about 1/2in deep, and set it to medium heat.~

Next, soak the tomato slices in the Half n' Half.  
Note: You are not soaking for a long time, just long enough while you start the next step.

While the little green slices of good-ness are relaxing in their creamy bath, I add some Old Bay seasoning to my cornmeal in another shallow dish.  I use maybe 1/2tbs of seasoning to about a cup of cornmeal... give or take on your taste preference.  Some folks don't like Old Bay, and that's okay (I guess); you can just use a touch of salt and pepper.

Next, we'll take our tomato slices, one at a time, from the Half n Half bath and dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.  It is SO helpful if you use one hand to grab the wet tomato and another to coat with the cornmeal. (One for wet, one for dry... or else your fingers will be battered better than your tomatoes! Though its inevitable that you'll place wet in dry and have to wash your hands again mid-process... at least I do *wink*)

Be sure to lightly pat all around the slice to get the cornmeal to stick to the tomato... don't forget the sides!

Once all of your slices are wearing their cornmeal suits, you are ready to get fryin'!
To make sure my oil is at the right temp, I toss a pinch of cornmeal mix into it to see that it has the right sizzle.  If it doesn't sizzle, it's not hot enough; if it smokes, spits or pops... it's too hot (remove it from the heat to cool a bit and turn your burner to med-low).  I know this is not the professional chef or scientific way of doing things, I never claimed to be a chef or scientist, but it works for me. *Grin*

Handy Tools to have on hand: Handheld Strainer thinger and  Bamboo tongs
My tools for Fryin' Green Tomatoes is a handheld stainer (usually used for seafood) and some handy bamboo tongs... I find that they allow me to grip the slices well enough to flip them in the oil without ripping off the crust.
Drop about five slices into the oil and fry about 4 minutes; flip with your tongs (pictured above) and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

This is my idea of cooking 'till Golden Brown.

Use the strainer to collect your slices from the oil, this style strainer really helps to let excess oil drip from the slices without risking peeling away the crunchy goodness we've created on the outside. *drool*

Set slices on a plate lined with paper towels... to soak up that extra grease.

I then will lightly sprinkle my Fried Green Tomatoes with salt (this is optional) while they are still hot with oil.  This helps the salt stick just right to our slices.

Allow to cool for a patient... really, this is important, that green tomato inside its crispy shell is hot as heck and will burn the heck outta your mouth; then you wont be able to enjoy the rest of the tomatoes... that would make for a miserable time of you watching everyone else eat up your Fried Green Tomato Goodness while you sit out because you just couldn't wait a minute... or ten.  Patience is a virtue.

I like to have a side of Remoulade sauce to lightly dip my Fried Green Tomatoes in, mostly for the zing-factor the sauce gives.  Remoulade is also known as "Cajun Mayonnaise".

Drool-worthy Fried Green Tomato Good-ness.  YUM!
Perfection! Enjoy!
It took me time to come up with my own recipe that worked for me, even though it super simple.  I don't claim for this to be the right way, but this is the way my family enjoys this southern yum-ness. *wink*

Let me know if you've tried this recipe by leaving a comment below... Enjoy!



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