Fried green tomatoes have been a favorite summer treat of mine since I was small. I learned how to make them from my grandmother and like pretty much everyone I know, I have my own particular way of making them. Some folks bread theirs only with flour, others mix in cornmeal and still others use breadcrumbs or panko. And then there are the spice mixtures and dipping sauces!
Personally, I lean toward simpler ways of making these. I’ve enjoyed the heavily breaded panko versions in trendy restaurants but the fried green tomatoes you get out of my kitchen are much more traditional (and easy to make!), and this is how it’s done:
1 green tomato
milk or buttermilk (optional)
cajun-style seasoning (optional)
cooking oil (peanut is traditional but many use vegetable oil due to allergies)
1. Slice up the green tomato. Don’t slice too thin or the tomato will fall apart a bit in frying.
2. On a plate, mix your flour and cornmeal. I normally use 1 part flour to one part cornmeal.
3. Add salt and pepper to your flour/cornmeal mixture, to taste. Sometimes I’ll throw in some cajun-style seasoning for a little variety.
4. Crack your egg into a small bowl. Some folks like to add a little milk or buttermilk, but you don’t have to. Things work fine either way.
5. Pour the oil into a skillet. The secret here is not to drown the tomatoes with oil. I never use more than 1/4 inch of frying oil at the very maximum. Sometimes you have to experiment a little; too little oil and the tomatoes stick and burn but too much and they get soggy.
6. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, dip your tomato slices in egg and then dredge in the flour mixture.
7. Fry the tomato slices until they start looking golden. If grease is splattering too much, it’s okay to turn down the heat a little bit but don’t take it below medium.
8. When the tomatoe slices are done, place on a paper-towel lined plate and serve.
*note: For those who are concerned about GMO’s, upwards of 90% of the conventionally grown corn in the United States is genetically modified. If this is of concern for you, you will probably want to make sure that you buy organic cornmeal because conventional will almost certainly contain GMO corn. The same would apply for vegetable oil as most canola and soy are also GMO.
– Lynn Spencer