Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summertime Yum: Fried Green Tomatoes

I have wanted to make fried green tomatoes ever since I saw the movie a million years ago as a kid.  And it just so happened that on this lovely summer day, our weekly CSA delivery included three fat tomatoes, and one of them was nice and firm and green.  It also happened that fried green tomatoes seemed the perfect accompaniment to the dish of sauteed corn and zucchini with caramelized onions, oregano, and cilantro.  Turns out, fried green tomatoes are super easy to make and ridiculously tasty.  Now I'm going to have to scour farmers' markets to see if I can get more!  

My Joy of Cooking says that the recipe was "the traditional solution to the problem of tomatoes that do not have time to ripen before the first frost."  Well, there you go.  I'm not sure if the first frost has passed, but I'm guessing it has.  But that lovely green tomato that was gifted to me today suggests that perhaps there is hope indeed.

Here's how to make them, thanks to the inspiration from The Joy of Cooking.

What you need:

-- 1 to 2 green tomatoes
-- 1/2 c. ground cornmeal
-- 1/4 c. all purpose flour
-- seasonings: salt, pepper, and a sprinkling any dried or fresh herbs you want to use (thyme, parsley, etc.)
-- 1/4 c. unsweetened, non-dairy milk
-- olive oil

Here's what to do:

1.  Prep the tomatoes.  Wash and remove the stem ends, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.

2.  On a plate, gently combine cornmeal, flour, and seasonings, and mix with your fingers or a spoon.  Put the 1/4 c. unsweetened non-dairy milk in a small bowl.

3.  Dip the tomato slices in the milk, then coat with the cornmeal/flour mixture, and shake off excess.  Set aside.

4.  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat.  When the oil is hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle, gently place your tomato slices in the pan.  Let cook until golden and crisp, and then flip (adding more oil if necessary) and let the other side get nice and golden and crisp.

5.  Serve piping hot, but be careful -- you'll want to gobble these up and they'll certainly burn your mouth!  Worth it, nevertheless.


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