Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fried green Tomatoes

The tomato plant is an amazing organism.  It actually provides a two-for-one deal.  Of course there is the beloved plump, juicy, bright red fruit; the foundation of summer salsas, BLTs, and Caprese Salads, to name a few.  On the other hand, there is the less celebrated firm, tangy, and vividly green sibling.  It is this member of the family that is my summer beacon. Luckily, living in NC, we have warm enough weather even in October to continue my summer thrill clear into fall.  Last weekend I was delighted to come across some beautifully unripe tomatoes at The Downtown Cary Farmers Market.

My grandmother made the B.E.S.T fried green tomatoes, and of course like everything else she made, the recipe was stored in her head.  Hence, I have spent my adult life hitting and missing (mostly missing) until I have come up with a version of my own, that has just enough likeness to Grandmaw's to spark those summertime memories.  I really am not certain of the measurements, so here are my best estimates.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 bright green tomatoes, about the size of baseballs
1 cup flour
2 cups corn meal
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt (divided)
2 teaspoons pepper (divided)
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (divided)
Vegetable oil for frying

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

In a pie plate, or other wide dish, Combine flour and 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning. Stir well with a fork.   In another pie plate, or dish, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning.  Gently whisk together with a fork.  Lastly, put cornmeal in another pie plate, or dish.

Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.  Begin by dredging 1 slice into the flour first, shaking off the excess.  Next, dip it into the buttermilk-egg mixture, and finally coating it in the cornmeal.  Carefully lay the coated tomato on a cooling rack while you do the same thing to the other tomatoes.  (I find the coating adheres to the tomatoes better when they have a chance to sit on the rack for a few minutes, as opposed to frying each one immediately after dipping.)

Once all tomato slices have been coated and are waiting patiently on the rack, pour vegetable oil, into a large cast iron or other 10-12 inch skillet, to a depth of about 1/4 inch.  Heat the oil over medium heat.

After about 5-7 minutes (depending on the power of your stove top) test the hotness of the oil by slowly dipping a tomato into it.  It will bubble and sizzle immediately when the oil is ready.  Lay about 4-6 tomato slices, depending on the size of your pan, in the skillet and fry over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until a golden brown.  Then flip and do the same on the other side.  Transfer to a baking sheet and hold in a warm oven until all slices have been fried.


  1. These look SO. AH. MAY. ZING!!! Drooling! I haven't made any in awhile. Yumm!!

  2. They sound delicious. I will try them as soon as I can get some green tomatoes.