“Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a plate of fried green tomatoes..”

The mention of fried green tomatoes might make you think of the 1991 film by the same name, or it might make you think of the green food classic, Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”. After you’ve tried these, though, this deliciously crunchy and surprisingly juicy, melt-in-your-mouth snack will be the first thing that comes to mind.

These were made on the fly on Friday night without consulting a recipe. I tend to struggle with weighing how I think things are traditionally supposed to taste versus how I actually want them to taste, but for these I really had no idea. I knew I wanted them to be at least a little bit spicy – cayenne. I wanted them to be extra crispy – panko & corn meal. And I knew the egg wouldn’t stick to the tomato without dredging them in flour first. With those as my guidelines, I went to the kitchen and I can only describe the outcome as a cross between a mozzarella stick and an onion ring. (The best mozzarella sticks and onion rings EVER, of course.) Initially there’s a crunch, then a surge of tart juicy tomato with a grand finale of some hot cayenne heat.

It’s been a notoriously bad season for tomatoes, so I wasn’t surprised to find a big basket of the unripened, green variety at my local farmers market on Thursday. I told the woman at the stand I was so glad they brought some green ones along so I could finally give frying them a try, and she said “No one wants them! Grab another on your way out!” Obviously they don’t know what they’re missing, and prior to this, neither did I.

Fresh Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

2 Green tomatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick slices.
1 cup Flour
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1 cup Corn Meal
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (divided)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Dried Cilantro Flakes
1 pinch Smoked Paprika
Enough Canola Oil to coat the bottom of your pan
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste.

Before you start, set up your assembly line for coating your tomatoes! Pour flour into one bowl. Into another bowl, mix together eggs, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Into a third bowl, mix corn meal, panko bread crumbs, cilantro, garlic powder and the rest of the cayenne pepper. I’m awful and I never remember, but try to keep one hand dry for the dry ingredients, and use the other for touching the egg!

  1. Dredge a tomato slice in flour on both sides, drop it into the egg bowl and flip around until it’s coated, then transfer into the panko/corn meal mixture. I like to drop the tomato in, scoop some of the mixture on top and then lightly press down and shake off. Transfer coated tomato slices onto a plate. Repeat.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat until hot. (Use a cast iron skillet if you’ve got one!) Not sure if your oil is hot enough? Test it by dropping a piece of panko into the pan. If it sizzles, it’s ready.
  3. Carefully place four slices into the oil. (More or less depending on the size of your pan.) Flip them when they’re golden brown on the bottom. You don’t want them to be much more crowded than this:
  4. Once golden brown on both sides, transfer your tomatoes onto a paper towel lined plate. Let them cool slightly, and eat up!

The last couple from this batch were enjoyed dipped in marinara sauce — highly recommended! Next time I make them, I think I’ll make a roasted red pepper aioli to go alongside. The sweet pepper and the tart tomato would go very well together.

Bon appetit!

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2 Responses to “Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a plate of fried green tomatoes..”

  1. urakata says:

    your site is right (and looks delicious), everything depends on how much empty in your stomach.

  2. You should try a BLT with fried green tomatoes on it. Mmmm.

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