Simple recipe for how to make fried green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are are coated with flour, dipped in eggs, and then finally dredged in a light and crispy cornmeal coating.
As I was picking up my weekly bushel of red tomatoes at the farmer’s market earlier this week, (okay, it’s not actually a bushel, but sometimes it seems that way. Tomatoes don’t last long in our house), I spotted a pile of green tomatoes sitting demurely in the next bin.
I brought three green tomatoes home and announce to the husband that I am making fried green tomatoes to go with our dinner. His eyes began to shine and twinkle, as is customary when I mention I am frying anything.
Where Did Fried Green Tomatoes Come From?
They are synonymous with Southern cooking, but truth is, they likely didn’t originate here. You may be surprised to learn they have been traced back to Jewish cooking in the Mid and Northwest at the turn of the last century. So how did they become known as a Southern food? You can thank Fannie Flagg’s novel, Fried Green Tomatoes.
But the idea behind them is a practical one. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, sometimes it seems like it takes forevvvver for them to ripen. Not so long ago, when people didn’t have air-conditioned grocery stores full of food on every street corner, you grew your own food and made due with what you had. Green tomatoes aren’t unedible, but they sure don’t taste good in their natural state. Anything tastes better fried, right?
How to make Fried Green Tomatoes
The key is to achieve a crispy golden crust without overcooking the tomato. You want tomato slices that are about 1/4-inch thick. Too thin and they will become mushy from being overcooked. Too thick and they won’t cook all the way through.
I like to double batter my tomato slices. Coat first with flour, then dip in an egg wash. Finally, dredge them in a cornmeal coating. You can also use traditional breadcrumbs or panko breacrumbs. Heat enough vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet to allow the tomatoes to float freely. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden and crispy, then drain on paper towels.
Fried foods always taste better when paired with a dipping sauce, so I recommend serving them with comeback sauce. Similar to a spicy thousand island, it’s actually a salad dressing my husband’s family introduced me to when we started dating. However, we frequently use it for dipping all varieties of crunchy fried goodness.
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How to Make Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes:
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 4 green tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch paprika
- In a large skillet, preheat oil to 350 degrees.
- Sprinkle both sides of tomatoes with kosher salt and pepper.
- Mix the flour and garlic powder together in a shallow dish.
- In a second dish, beat together eggs and milk. In a third dish, mix together cornmeal, cayenne, and paprika.
- Coat tomatoes with flour, then egg wash, then cornmeal.
- Fry in batches until crisp and golden brown, about 2-3 mintues. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt an pepper to taste.