|Sliced green tomatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper, marinated in buttermilk, and dredged in a cornmeal and flour mixture tossed with Cajun seasoning, then fried - they are a true Southern Classic.|
Southern Fried Green TomatoesEverybody likely remembers the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, based on the book by Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. It certainly popularized the common green tomato for sure and lots of restaurants jumped on that green tomato wagon shortly after the movie was released.
"There's not a tomato safe
south of the Mason-Dixon line." Fannie Flagg.
south of the Mason-Dixon line." Fannie Flagg.
But truthfully, fried green tomatoes have been around a long, long time and likely date back to the Depression, when folks would just about fry up anything and call it dinner. A batch of fried green tomatoes with a big glass of sweet iced tea and you had yourself a tasty and light dish for a hot summer night. That would be light as in not heavy, not light as in diet-light!
Some folks claim that the idea of fried green tomatoes came somewhere out of the northern regions of our country and aren't even a "southern thing" at all! Well... no matter where or how they originated, I reckon you can't hardly hear those three words without at least thinkin' of The South, so it was a perfect name for a book and movie that depicted the ups and downs, ins and outs, and complexities of life in the south. I so love that movie and can't even guess at the number of times I have watched it.
Always best with fresh, green tomatoes picked straight out of the backyard garden, fried green tomatoes need to be served hot, preferably right out of the pan. They should be juicy on the inside, but crispy, crunchy and salty on the outside - never soggy! Serve with your favorite dipping sauce - a true Mississippi Comeback Sauce is wonderful, but if you're not feeling up to making a batch, try my husband's favorite and easy Lazy Man's KetMayo Sauce.
Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 large green tomatoes, or more as needed, preferably right off the vine
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Buttermilk, to cover
- 1/4 cup or more of bacon fat or frying oil
- 1 cup of cornmeal, more or less as needed
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
Place a rack over a pan covered in paper towels; set aside. Slice the tomatoes into thick slices - 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Season generously with salt and pepper and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a small, shallow bowl and cover with buttermilk. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Heat bacon fat or oil over medium high heat. Mix the corn meal with the flour and Cajun seasoning on a plate. Remove the tomato slices from the buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Dredge in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides and edges. Place immediately into the hot fat, frying for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown, turning only once. Don't crowd the pan ... give them plenty of room to groove!
Drain on the rack, sprinkle immediately with kosher salt as they come out of the pan and serve right away. Can also place into a low oven to keep warm if necessary. Continue with remaining slices, adding additional bacon fat to the skillet as needed. Tomatoes should be crisp, not soggy.
Serve just plain, with a dab of mayo, Comeback Sauce, Lazy Man's KetMayo Sauce, Spicy Mustard Sauce, White Rémoulade Sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.
Cook's Notes: Can double dip in the buttermilk/flour mixture if desired, however this does make for a thicker crust. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk, however, you will need to add a little more flour in with your cornmeal to help the cornmeal adhere.
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