Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lesson Number 3: Fried Green Tomatoes

I'm filing this under "lessons" (instead of "recipes") more for myself than anything else. Below, you'll find some basic tips I've discovered to help with making fried green tomatoes.

1) Know what kind of batter you like. I like cornbread batter that sticks well the tomato. I do not want the batter falling off of my tomato (or onion ring for that matter). I want it to be crispy and "bready" at the same time. So, I use the same batter for coating tomatoes and squash that I use for making fried cornbread (if you've never had fried cornbread, we may need to have a talk). Depending on the quantity of items to be coated, my batter usually consists of 1-2 eggs, milk, and cornmeal mix. I rarely measure anything. I simply look for a consistency similar to well-stirred yogurt. The lack of measuring usually leaves me with a few spoonfuls of extra batter when I'm done, which I simply fry. Our next set of fried green tomatoes will be my first foray into tempura. *crosses fingers*

2) No matter what kind of oil you use, always defer to Alton Brown's popping corn test. I usually place a fairly shallow puddle of oil in my pan (I'm not deep-frying) and throw in a couple of kernels of popping corn. Turn the heat on to medium. When the kernels pop, the oil is ready for frying.

3) Make sure your tomatoes are not too thick or too thin. No paper thin slices, nothing over a 1/4 of an inch. If the slices are too thick, they will be unpleasantly crisp in the middle. If they are too thin, there's just not enough tomato to make each bite worth it. I have discovered a serrated knife (or mandolin) to be the best tool for the job. A regular knife tends to follow the grain of the tomato instead of slicing straight.

4) Plan your toppings carefully. A plain, fried green tomato can be just as delicious as one covered excessive garnish. They usually lend themselves well to "ranch" seasonings as well as remoulade. They are also a bit decadent on a BLT as the T.

3 comments:

  1. Awesome! I have been wanting to try fried green tomatoes. When should I pick them to fry? We've got some pretty sizable ones now and a few turning red on the vine.

    Also...we need to talk. I don't think I've ever had fried cornbread! Eep!

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  2. Bonnie - as long as you pick the tomatoes before they turn red. I like them the size of clementines. We'll have to arrange a fried cornbread lesson. :)

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