Fried Green Tomatoes
This recipe has been inspired by a challenge reluctantly put forward by BayFM’s Karen Mason. You see Kaz doesn’t like tomatoes. She never has. So I’ve stepped up to the crease and have accepted the challenge to create something containing tomatoes that Kaz can actually stomach.
I started off a little optimistically, by offering Kaz two home grown varieties; Green Zebra and Money Maker. No sale on the Money Maker I’m afraid. Just as well radio isn’t a visual medium, as there were some interesting facial expressions taking place in the studio. While Green Zebra was received more warmly, there was still no way Ms Mason was going to make her way to the nursery any time soon to start growing her own.
Time to bring in the big guns – Southern American cuisine. If anyone can make a vegetable tasty, it has to be the home of fried chicken ’n’ grits!
Fried Green Tomatoes
For this recipe I used Amish Paste tomatoes as they are a good size and are producing large quantities of fruit, hence I was happy to use a few ‘experimentally’.
4-5 green tomatoes sliced 5-8mm thick (1/4 inch)
Splash of milk
Oil for shallow frying
It’s a pretty standard battering process, but anytime you’re using hot oil it pays to get everything ready before starting the cooking. Another great tip I’ll tell you for free is that you should try to keep one hand clean and dry.
Start by slicing your tomatoes quite thickly – another reason to choose larger tomatoes in the first place. Discard the ends and any blemishes.
Place your sliced tomatoes in a bowl of plain flour. This removes the moisture and helps provide a good surface for the egg and milk mix to stick to.
Mix a splash of milk and one large egg with a fork until combined. Dunk your floury tomatoes into this mix until coated.
Next comes the ‘dredge’ This basically a seasoned flour mixed with polenta. You can also use breadcrumbs instead of the polenta or a mix of both! Season pretty heavily with salt and pepper – I probably used a good teaspoon of salt.
Coat your tomatoes well with the dredge before popping small batches into hot oil. I used olive oil as coconut oil is too damn expensive to use in bulk and I no longer keep any vegetable/seed oil in the house.
Many recipes from the U.S. suggested ‘ranch dressing’ which I assume is a ketchup-sweet mayonnaise dressing – not swapping your clothes for a cowboy suit.
I was actually surprised to find them really tangy, refreshing and a great late summer dish – perfect for the impatient amongst us who can’t wait for their tomatoes to ripen…
Oh, and Kaz loved them!