Fried Green Tomatoes Revisited


Sometimes I don’t get things right the first time…

Last summer, I shared a recipe for fried green tomatoes with you, but the step-by-step photos did not do the dish justice.  Fortunately, I don’t mind trying a recipe again–especially if it means I get to eat it again!  And since the garden is exploding with big green tomatoes, what better time to offer a lighter, brighter, more vivid version of this crispy treat?  🙂

Flavorful Fried Green Tomatoes

friedtomatoplated

I’ve ordered fried green tomatoes a couple times at, believe it or not, more upscale restaurants, and though they were delightfully crispy, they were a bit on the bland side.

ENTER: SEASONING.

Garlic powder and a final sprinkling of kosher salt is all you need for a flavorful batch of fried green tomatoes.

(But a little dollop of dilly dipping sauce couldn’t hurt, either.)

Preparation

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Wash and core 4 large green tomatoes.  Slice 1/2″ thick.

Next, set up your coating station:

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In one shallow dish, add 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and mix thoroughly.

In another shallow dish, beat 2 large eggs with 2 Tablespoons half and half or milk.

In the third shallow dish, add 2 cups [to start] of Panko breadcrumbs.  (You can find these in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.)

Assembly

Dip a slice of tomato in flour.  Make sure both sides are coated well.  Shake off excess flour.

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Next, dip tomato in egg mixture, covering well.  Shake off excess egg.

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Finally, drop tomato in breadcrumbs and cover well.  I even like to lightly press the crumbs into place.  Shake excess crumbs off.

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One tomato down, plenty more to go.

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Cooking

Fill a cast iron skillet with an inch of canola oil and place over medium-high heat until hot.

COOKS NOTE: I like to get at least halfway through coating my stack of tomato slices before heating the oil.  I tend to rush less this way.  Hot oil makey me nervous.

Carefully place 4-5 tomato slices into the hot oil using tongs.

Fry on one side until golden, about 4 minutes.  Carefully flip and fry the other side for another 4 minutes.

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Remove and place on a thick sheet of paper towels to drain and sprinkle with a large pinch of kosher salt.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

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Mmmmm.

Who cares about plates or guests?

Go ahead and eat one now.  No one will know.

friedtomato

These are even more tasty with dipping sauce.  Here is how I make mine.

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Dilly Dipping Sauce

*1 cup olive oil mayonnaise (or 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt)

*1 small clove of garlic, finely grated

*2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh dill

*1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

*1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular will do, too)

*salt and pepper to taste
Whisk mayo, garlic, lemon juice, dill and paprika until smooth.  Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to start.  Add more to taste if desired.
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Fried Green Tomato Recipe

Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely (with a few tweaks)

Ingredients:

*1 inch canola oil

*3/4 cup flour

*1 Tablespoon garlic powder

*1 teaspoon salt

*1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

*1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*2 large eggs beaten

*2 Tablespoon milk or half and half

*3-4 cups Panko breadcrumbs

Core and slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick.

Mix flour though cayenne pepper in a shallow dish.  Set aside.In another shallow dish, beat the eggs and milk until smooth.  Set aside.  In a final shallow dish, add 3 cups of Panko.

To coat, dip tomato slices in flour mixture, then egg, then Panko.  Set on a plate and finish the rest.

Heat 1″ canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry tomatoes at least 4 minutes on each side or until golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Flavorful Fried Green Tomatoes


Green tomatoes.

They have one of two destinies:

Destiny #1: They can ripen into a beautiful red tomato or

Destiny #2: They can be plucked and turned into a crispy treat.

I’m not typically a fan of fried vegetables, but after wandering past rows of plump green tomatoes these past few months, I finally got curious enough to whip up a batch of fried green tomatoes.

Since I did not have a family recipe for this dish, I went in search of one that had just the right flavor and texture to make frying a vegetable worth the extra calories.

I found just what I was looking for in this recipe from Food Network’s Down Home With the Neely’s.

The verdict?

They were the best fried green tomatoes I have ever tasted!

They were a hit with my friends!

They were gone in a matter of minutes!

If you have a few green tomatoes sitting around, I suggest you put them and this recipe to work.

Flavorful Fried Green Tomatoes

(recipe adapted from The Neelys)

First things first, get your frying oil hot and ready!

Cook’s Tip: A 6-inch cast iron pot is ideal if you do not have a deep fryer or do not want to waste so much oil filling a larger pot.  A sturdy, heavy-bottomed pan or deep skillet would also work, though.

Fill pot with roughly 3 inches of canola oil and heat over medium-high until hot.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes.

Cut about 4-5 large tomatoes or 10-15 smaller tomatoes into 1/4″ slices and season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Cook’s Tip: You can use red tomatoes, too, as long as they are firm and not fully ripened.

Time to set up the breading station!

In one shallow dish or plate, mix 3/4 cup flour with one Tablespoon garlic powder and one teaspoon Old Bay seasoning.

In another, beat three large eggs and two tablespoons of milk until smooth.

In a final dish, mix 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs with 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Cook’s Tip: Panko is a type of breadcrumb that gives fried foods a wonderfully light and crunchy texture.  You can find them in the Asian or seafood aisle.

Time to dress up our tomatoes!

First, dredge tomato slices in flour mixture and lightly shake off excess.

Next, dip slices in egg…

…and then in the Panko making sure every inch of tomato is covered.  Lightly shake off excess.  (Yes, your hands will get uber messy.)

Carefully place 3-4 slices of tomato at a time into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden.

Remove and drain on paper towels.

Lightly sprinkle with salt while hot.

Diner’s Tip: Your first instinct will be to pop one of the these lovelies into your mouth right away.  DON’T DO IT!  That lovely is HOT! Just wait a couple minutes, okay?

I was super impressed with this recipe.  The tomatoes had such a great flavor and the texture of the breading was light and crispy instead of heavy and soggy.  Though best warm, they were still great at room temperature and maintained their crispiness.  Such versatility makes them the perfect addition to a summer potluck or picnic.

Can’t wait for my next crop of green tomatoes!

The Recipe

Serves 4

*Canola oil

*4-5 large green tomatoes (0r 10-12 smaller tomatoes)

*salt and pepper

*3/4 cup all-purpose flour

*1 Tablespoon garlic powder

*1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

*3 large eggs, beaten

*2 Tablespoons milk

*1-1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

*1/2 teaspoon paprika

*Pinch of cayenne pepper

Fill a medium-sized pot with a couple inches of canola oil.  Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.

Meanwhile, cut tomatoes into 1/4″ slices and season with salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish or plate, add flour, garlic powder and Old Bay and mix.

In a separate dish, pour beaten egg.

In a final dish, add Panko, paprika and cayenne.

Dredge a tomato slice in flour and shake off the excess.  Next, dip tomato in egg and then in the Panko, making sure the tomato is completely covered in bread crumbs.  Lightly shake off the excess and carefully place in hot oil.

Cook tomatoes 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm.