Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes
Do you grow tomatoes? If you do then this recipe is for you! The end of tomato season is near and it always seems that there are plenty of tomatoes still on the vine that just will not ripen so why not pick them now and fry them up?
This is a classic southern recipe that really is somewhat of a delicacy because you of have to grow your own or know someone who grows a lot of them to get any tomatoes that are green. I mean really, have you ever seen green tomatoes for sale in the market?
I remember eating these when I was growing up. We had this huge garden and always had lots of tomatoes. I really like these in the morning with an egg over easy or with thin skillet fried elk or venison steaks but tonight they are an appetizer served with a drizzle of creme fraiche then topped with garden chives and salt pork croutons.
Every now and then I like to buy a small package of salt pork to kick up a few dishes like this one.
I chop salt pork into 1/4 inch diced pieces and saute them over medium heat until the oil is rendered out and I'm left with glorious little crispy bits. The fragrant almost bacon like fat will flavor my fried green tomatoes and the tasty croutons will be a delicious crunchy topping.
Now it's time to get those tomatoes frying! Be sure to use very firm green tomatoes and cut them evenly in a thick quarter inch slice.
First I dredge the slices in seasoned flour, then in an egg wash. Some people use a few tablespoons of milk whisked into the egg wash but I've used water. Last the tomato is dredged through some corn meal and it's into the frying pan.
I'm using a heavy copper saute pan here so if you don't have one, the next and maybe some would say the best pan to use is cast iron. Make sure you use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and get the pan good and hot before you add the tomatoes or your breading will turn to mush. If the salt pork doesn't render quite enough fat don't worry add some vegetable oil and you will still have some great porky flavor!
Fry each side until they are golden brown. The tomatoes should just be starting to turn soft but still hold their shape. You can remove them to a paper towel lined plate to drain a little bit if you think they seem too oily. If the tomatoes are fried in oil that's not quite hot enough they will take too long and the oil will be absorbed into the breading making them too oily so I try to heat the oil until it's shimmering and barely starting to smoke.
Now this appetizer is ready to plate! I lay the tomatoes out in pretty rows, top with a few tablespoons of creme fraiche and then sprinkle with the chopped chives and salt pork croutons.
That's it! I think these tomatoes are really tasty. Crispy, sour and creamy complimented by the crunchy and salty little pork croutons.
I hope you'll try this with your tomatoes this year.
Happy Fall and enjoy the last fruits of your garden.
Fried Green Tomatoes
1 large green tomato sliced into 4-5 slices a fat 1/4 inch thick
1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon seasoned salt or Old Bay seasoning ( I like to use Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon pepper ( optional if you use Old Bay Seasoning)
1/4 cup Corn Meal
1/4 cup diced salt pork
extra oil as needed
1/4 cup creme fraiche for drizzling (or substitute sour cream)
3 Tablespoons chopped chives
Add the diced salt pork to a heavy cast iron or copper pan and turn heat to medium to start rendering the fat from the croutons. as they begin to fry, turn the heat down to medium low until they have turned light and crispy and the majority of the pork fat has been rendered into the pan.
Scoop the croutons out onto a paper towel and set aside.
Turn the heat back up on the pan and add more oil if necessary to cover the bottom. When the oil begins to shimmer it's time to add the tomato slices so be prepared to work fairly quickly as the oil heats up.
Dredge the tomato slices one at a time in the flour (seasoned with Old Bay or Seasoned salt and pepper) and then the egg wash, followed by the corn meal. Lay each piece into the hot oil carefully and let them fry about 5 minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.
Lay them out on a plate and top them with the creme fraiche, chives and crispy pork croutons