October 9th, 2012
I had lunch with Rick and Su on Sunday. They still had a few tomato plants laden with fruit and at this time of year there’s no chance that they will ripen. I came home with a dozen green tomatoes of varying sizes, chiefly to be fried, but a few might make it into the stock pot and they’d also be good in chutney.
I was under the impression that fried green tomatoes came from the southern states of America, particularly having seen the film, though I did live in Georgia for a couple of years and never saw them – odd since the film is set in Alabama and was filmed in Georgia! I’ve done a little research and several websites suggest that they were quite common back in the 1840’s and a few have found Jewish cook books with recipes dating back to a similar time. I can actually imagine matzo meal being used instead of corn meal, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the origin is – fried green tomatoes taste great!
Fried Green Tomato recipe:
1 or 2 hard green tomatoes per person (depending on size)
1 beaten egg
half a cup of plain flour
quarter of a cup of breadcrumbs
quarter of a cup of cornmeal (or cornflour)
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying
Slice the tomatoes, about half an inch thick – it’s important that they are hard and not soft. Discard the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Cover the slices in flour, dip them in beaten egg and then coat them in a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs and cornmeal. Fry them until golden, in hot oil and drain on some kitchen towel. Some recipes suggest cooking them in bacon fat and I think that’s an excellent idea!
Most recipes call for a mixture of beaten egg and milk (or buttermilk), but personally I was disappointed with the milk mixture and prefer egg alone. My recipe will do about 4 medium tomatoes and I recommend them as a starter or for breakfast. Chilli flakes or Cajun seasoning mixed into the breadcrumbs and cornmeal spice up the flavour, or some balsamic vinegar or chilli sauce make a great accompaniment.
Edit: Having lots of green tomatoes to play with, I did a taste test with all sorts of hot sauces and vinegars. I would say that, overwhelmingly, Sriracha sauce was best and it’s almost as if it was made to go with fried green tomatoes! Nothing else came close.