Fried Green Tomatoes are worth the price of admission. The film was sentimental and heartwarming. The recipe is crunchy, fun, and delicious.
I have always wanted to make these, ever since I saw the film. But the tomatoes were hard to come by. I saw many an heirloom green tomato, but those are soft and ripe and mushy, the way they ought to be. Green tomatoes are firm; that is the key to this recipe. Firm tomatoes. Anything soft and mushy will not do, because it will fall apart when frying. So seek out green tomatoes, just regular tomatoes that have not ripened yet, at your market - it is the season for them.
Green tomatoes taste a little tart, and have a nice fleshy mouth feel to them. When fried, they become a slice of heaven, slightly warm and tender on the inside, crunchy and salty on the outside. There is something about the contrast of textures and flavors that makes this dish unique and wonderful.
I also enjoyed the cooking process. There is something comforting about the preparation; you need three shallow bowls, one each for the flour, milk/eggs, and corn meal. Then you dip in each bowl, one at a time, until you have mounds of these wonderful tomatoes sitting on a rack, waiting to be fried. I don't know if I would go so far as to call it zen like, but there was a flow after a while, where all I was doing was dipping and dredging...and my mind went south. I was surprised when I was done, I had so gotten caught in the doing, the moment.
And then of course there is the eating. I tried lots of condiments with this. Salsa was tasty, but messy. Mayonnaise was good, as it is with all manners of fried things. But hands down the best was ketchup. Something about tomato on tomato action just really works, yielding a tangy treat. I kept thinking about hamburgers, as the tomato kind of looks like a giant pickle covered with ketchup, a la Whopper. I bet a fried green tomato would taste great on a burger...mmm, must remember for next time.
In the film, they are cooked and enjoyed by two best friends, becoming a symbol of the life their cafe brought to a sleepy southern town. Now, I am not sure if they can bring an entire community together again. But people will come just to see them, and stay to eat them. They are novelty fare that will keep crowds and families pleased. Even my 2 year could not resist eating a 'motato'. Enjoy every bite.
4 medium sized, green tomatoes
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup corn meal
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
- Mix milk and egg together in a shallow pan. Place flour and corn in like pans. Add salt and pepper to taste to the corn meal.
- Slice each tomato lengthwise into 4 equal slices. Trim the round ends.
- Dust each slice with flour, then dip in milk/egg mixture. Dredge each slice in corn meal. Set aside on a rack and complete the rest of the slices.
- Heat olive oil on medium in a frying pan. Add tomato slices and cook for 2 -3 minutes/side. Serve hot.