Sunday, January 24, 2010

NOT just a movie!

When I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to make fried green tomatoes, I actually heard "That isn't just a movie?"  I was overcome by both shock and pity for any poor individual that has not had the pleasure of experiencing this traditional southern dish.

Was it presumptuous of me to assume that everyone is and should be familar with fried green tomatoes?  Made from firm, green, unripe tomatoes, this dish can be found on menus from local cheap eateries to some of the nicest restaurants in Charleston, SC, arguably the culinary capital of the south.

I was motivated to make this dish when I noticed some overcrowding on my tomato plant and had to pick a few unripe tomatoes if I wanted to make a bit more room.

I did a pretty basic rendition, and topped them with a warm corn salsa.  If I had a food processor here, I probably would have made some kind of red pepper coulis to serve them over.  As a last minute decision, I threw in some panko breadcrumbs to my flour/cornmeal mixture to give them some extra crunch! 

Fried Green Tomatoes
with Sweet Corn Salsa


4 green tomatoes
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cormeal
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

Corn salsa
2 ears of corn, cooked, kernels removed
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp basil, sliced
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp balsmic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and place between kitchen towels to absorb all moisture.

2. For corn salsa, combine all ingredients and let sit while you prepare tomatoes.
3. To prepare 'frying station', get 3 bowls.  Pour 1/2 cup of flour in the first bowl.  In the second, beat the eggs and milk.  In the third combine, 1/2 cup flour, cornmeal, panko, salt, and peppers.  Pat tomatoes dry, and going one slice at a time, coat in flour, dredge in eat mixure, and coat in breadcrumb mixure and place on rack.

4. Let the tomatoes sit for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, in a large saucepan, pour in vegetable oil until you have about 1/8 inch.  Heat at medium heat so the tomatoes may soften without the crust browning too quickly.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and place back on rack.

5. Place 2 or 3 slices on a plate, top with corn salsa and serve.

Delicious southern treat!

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