This recipe is a part of my Southern Kitchen Bucket List series.
The popularity of this Southern dish surely rose from the movie of the same name, but their history goes back much further. The Farm is not too far from the original Whistlestop Cafe where Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed, and I’ve often wanted to go in to take a lesson from the experts there in the kitchen.
As I researched the history of this Southern classic, I stumbled upon evidence from old church cookbooks which shows that perhaps Fried Green Tomatoes aren’t really all that Southern after all and may have appeared earlier in the Ohio area and Jewish communities.
Now, anyone who has ever grown tomatoes in their own garden knows that when the plants begin to overproduce there are only so many tomato recipe variations you can make at one time so utilizing the green ones before they’ve ripened is a no-brainer.
This is one thing I’ve heard a lot of people ask, is a “green tomato” a special variety or simply a tomato that hasn’t fully ripened? The answer is in fact the latter, simple as that.
I must admit I also love my green tomatoes picked (with a side of Bloody Mary, of course) and they really are just so beautiful when sliced and stacked in a jar of brine.
But like any perfectly-fried food, this one is all about getting the right batter coating and consistency. I personally like Fried Green Tomatoes just about any way you can fix them and have had a variety of crusts over the years, from a more foamy, beer batter to my personal favorite which gives a crunchier texture with cornmeal and bread crumbs.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 4 medium green tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, plain
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 quart vegetable oil
How to cook Fried Green Tomatoes
- Slice green tomatoes to a medium thickness and set on a paper towel lined baking sheet to absorb some of the water moisture. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg and add milk, stirring to combine. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and spices. On a plate, pour breadcrumbs and set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet, begin heating your oil. Start coating your tomatoes by dipping one slice at a time in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then flour again, and finally full coating in breadcrumbs before carefully placing into hot oil in your cast iron skillet with tongs.
- Have a paper towel lined cookie sheet and bowl of kosher salt ready. Cook tomato on one side for approximately 2 minutes, turning to check for golden color. Flip and cook on the other side for approximately 2 more minutes. Remove from skillet and place on pan, immediately sprinkling salt on top for perfect seasoning.
- Serve plain or with dollop of sour cream or sprinkling of goat cheese and thyme. Enjoy!
I absolutely love to try Fried Green Tomatoes, especially in an “elevated Southern” kind of restaurant whenever they have them on the menu. Love to know your favorite way to top them. I prefer mine savory but I’ve also had them sprinkled with powdered sugar for a sweeter finish too. #HEIRLOOMED
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