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Fried Green Tomato Recipe


Fried Green Tomatoes are a celebration of the beginning of tomato season and an excellent way in the Fall to utilize those fruits that just aren't going to ripen before the frost. 

Here's how I do it:

a) Ideally, I like to start with tomatoes that are this color and roughly the size of a baseball.  

b) Slice them to your liking. I prefer thick, say 3/8". Thinner might be more like what you might find in a restaurant, however, I want a hearty dish not a batter delivery system. Uniform slices make it easy to cook them consistently.

c) Drag both sides of each slice through a bowl of flour. The goal is to soak up moisture and make it easier for an egg wash to stick.  I prefer to do this step to all the slices, stacking each on a plate, sprinkling a dash of flour in between as necessary to avoid any pasty wet bits.

d) Whip several eggs in a bowl; I use a fork.

e) In separate bowl, mix the outer coating.  My choice is equal parts: flour, panko flakes and yellow corn meal.  If during the coating process I'm running low on the mix I'll just keep spooning in more of those 3 ingredients to keep going. If I'm out of panko, I might use breadcrumbs, or just a 50/50 mix of corn meal and flour.

f) One by one, lay a floured tomato slice into the egg mixture, flipping it to get both sides. Pick up a handful of the coating mixture, drop the egged slice into the bowl of coating, and sprinkle the handful onto the top side. Gently press the slice into the bowl patting the coating on the top before removing to stack on a plate. I keep additional coating at the ready to ensure the slices don't stick to each other or the plate. In the past, I would dreg the slice thru the coating, but then some of the egg & coating mixture falls off. I found my lift and drop method to result a more uniformly coated slice. I repeat this with each slice ahead of cooking because fingers get messy and this leads to complications during cooking.

g) Some might pan fry the slices in a thick layer of oil, but I always found that results in popping and spattering of the oil. My preferred method is to use a deep cast iron pot with about an inch of oil (something suitable for frying, so not olive oil). The oil has to be deep enough to register on my thermometer. I aim to maintain 370 to 375F.  I lower the slices carefully into the hot oil to avoid any splashing. About 2 minutes on one side, flipping them over with a steel spider skimmer (or tongs) to give them another 1 or 2 minutes until they are the desired golden brown. Exact time depends on the oil temperature and how thick the slices are cut.

Fried Green Tomatoes

h) When the tomatoes have reached the desired color, I remove them with the skimmer and stack them on paper towels in layers to cool. Right before serving, I carefully flip the entire stack so the the last to come from the oil (the hottest) are now on the bottom. Season to taste and enjoy!

For a flavorful beefsteak tomato that is fabulous both red ripe or green fried, consider Indiana Red.