Ever since seeing the movie Fried Green Tomatoes (wow, was it really as long ago as 1991? That's the year Step 2-the-college-girl was born!!), of course I've been curious.
I'm a born Yankee, though, and only a second generation one at that; and we don't eat that stuff around here. I didn't even know if a green tomato were a "kind" of tomato -- like a Granny Smith apple -- or just an underripe one.
(Actually, I still don't really know that for sure!) :)
But yesterday, I took a stand. Mostly 'cause my little gardener boys decided that it was time to pick our tomatoes.
They were mistaken.
(I can appreciate their impatience, though: it is, after all, well-into September! Our tomato plants went in on Memorial Day, but they were attacked, twice, by mean, nasty tomato-hating grackles. The plants came back in mid-to-late June, and the first few tomatoes are just now starting to ripen.)
Now, I could've put those green beauties in a paper sack with a slice or two of apple, and hoped for the best; but it did occur to me that I had an opportunity here that I may not want to pass up. So Fried Green Tomatoes became the centerpiece of last night's dinner!
I always figured you made them like fried eggplant -- flour, eggs, breadcrumbs and the like -- and that'd be really good, too, actually -- but from what I can tell, they're much, much simpler that that. And very tasty, too!
After a quick poke around the internet (and with apologies to Southern cooks everywhere), here's what I did:
- Sliced the tomatoes thinly, maybe 1/4" thick or so
- Dipped them in a plate of milk (it was only 1%, so I added a splash of cream, too)
- Dredged them on a plate of white flour, which I had fork-tossed with a bit of kosher salt & cracked pepper
- Fried them over medium-high heat until golden brown, in hot vegetable oil (a few minutes each side)
- Drained them on paper towels
That's it! I used a bit of the oil in the tomato pan to cook up some thinly-sliced, home-grown sweet onions along with a splash of milk (including the last of the dipping plate) to make a quick onion gravy, which complimented the tomatoes nicely. The kids dipped theirs in ranch dressing and ketchup. Being a Buffalo girl, I must say that having a little hot sauce & butter on the side would've also been tasty; but I didn't try it. Next time. (There are still plenty of green tomatoes on the vine, after all!)
Authentic or not, what a fun, yummy treat!