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July 30, 2009

"Fried" Green Tomatoes

"Fried" Green Tomatoes

I have a confession to make...

Are you ready?

I grew up in Tennessee, but I never had a Fried Green Tomato until I moved to Maryland. There's a lot of those quintessential southern foods that I somehow missed growing up. This is probably because my mom didn't fry a lot of things.

Shortly after we moved to Maryland I was over on the Eastern Shore, because for those of you who don't know I'm a water person. Big time water person! Anytime I have the opportunity to be near the Chesapeake Bay, or more importantly the ocean, then by golly that's where you'll find me! It doesn't happen as often as I'd like, but when we lived over next to the Bay, you'd often find me hopping across the bridge. I can't even remember who was with me on this little jaunt, but I remember we stopped at this little seafood place, right on the water, and they had fried green tomatoes on their menu so I thought I'd give them a whirl!

To be completely honest I wasn't really impressed with that first bite. They were made more like a deep fried/battered concoction and I thought they were heavy and tasteless. But that first bite made me start thinking...What if you seasoned the green tomatoes really well and then cooked them similarly to how I cook okra? You'd have a "fried" tomato, but it wouldn't be as heavy and tasteless. And you know what? It worked!

These tomatoes are really fabulous! They make the perfect side dish. I actually like green tomato cut up and in salads, but this is a great way to use up some of those green tomatoes toward the end of the season, when the days aren't quite long enough to make them ripen, if you're not quite sure about just eating them as is.

What You'll Need:
Sliced green tomatoes
Sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
1 cup of stone ground yellow corn meal
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dry Ranch dressing mix
Extra virgin olive oil

First you want to slice your tomatoes to about the same thickness:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Mostly Green Tomatoes

As you can see this one was starting to turn red inside, but that's ok.

Once you have all your tomatoes sliced lay them out and sprinkle them with sea salt and black pepper:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Salt and Pepper

Once they are seasoned on both sides set aside.

Place a large skillet on medium heat and place a think layer of olive oil in the pan to heat while you do the next step. A tablespoon of oil should be more than enough. You may need to add more as you "fry", but we'll get to that in a minute.

Mix together corn meal, sea salt, black pepper and Ranch dressing mix until completely incorporated and place mixture on a plate or flat dish. Next place one tomato on the mixture to coat:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Ready to Dredge

Then flip the tomato over to coat the other side:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Dredged

Now you're ready to "fry"!

Place the tomatoes into the heated skillet/oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Frying

Once done remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to "drain":

"Fried" Green Tomatoes

You won't get a lot of draining since you didn't use a lot of oil, but there may be a little.

In between batches of tomatoes you might need to add a bit more oil to the pan. Just keep an eye on things. Repeat the process until all the tomatoes are done.

Serve immediately.

Notes: No notes for this one. When does that ever happen?? ;oP

Posted by Dianne at July 30, 2009 10:33 AM

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Comments

Please clarify! I thought that tomatillos were green tomatoes, but green tomatoes are unripe red tomatoes??? Thank you for setting me straight!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at July 30, 2009 8:36 PM

Oh my gosh! J and I were JUST talking about fried green tomatoes. We aren't getting enough sun and our tomatoes aren't turning red. J had a FGT sandwich at his favorite restaurant yesterday and said it was really good so I decided I'd have to look up a recipe. And now I don't have to look!

Posted by: Allie at July 31, 2009 10:03 AM

Noelle, tomatillos are related to tomatoes, but they aren't actually tomatoes. They have a green fruit that is in a papery covering. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatillo

There are several types of tomatoes that are green when they are ripe including the green zebra, but green tomatoes are just those you pick before they ripen.

Allie, hope you enjoy them! My tomatoes aren't ripening that quickly here either. I'm starting to get a few here or there, but I'm going to make more fried green tomatoes soon!

Posted by: Dianne at July 31, 2009 10:52 AM

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