For every big, juicy, red tomato in our garden, there are about five BIG, but not quite as juicy green ones. I (Jodie, here) am a fan of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes with Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy, but even after seeing that movie 25 + times, I never had any desire whatsoever to try fried green tomatoes. It sounds gross to me, mostly because I grew up under the rule that you're not supposed to eat things that are not ripe (even though the wicked cool electric green color is gorgeous!) ... so it never occurred to me to locate a recipe.
That all changed in the summer of 2001 when I was chosen to attend a Journalism Teacher's Institute in Austin Texas. Among many other wonderful things about the city of Austin, I was able to eat dinner and watch a rad concert (The Old 49s) at a BBQ joint and music venue called Stubb's. I am typically not a huge fan of barbecue joints. However, I have nothing bad to say about Stubb's. I love their smoked chicken, collard greens, mmmmmmmm, and my friend ordered fried green tomatoes. Lemme just say ... de-light-ful. Mmmmmmmm MMMMMMM mmmmmmmmm.
So about seven summers ago, when I noticed an overabundance of green tomatoes late in the season, I decided to give it a try. I found four recipes, and decided to morph them into my own thing and I want to share it with you. I usually make a gigantic batch, so you may want to cut this in half. This recipe will make enough for a dozen people to have at least two tomatoes each. Here it is:
Morgy's Crunchy Fried Green Tomatoes
INGREDIENT and SUPPLY LIST
- 6-8 plump green tomatoes
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 1&1/2 cups of milk, in a flat serving bowl
- around 2 cups of flour, on a plate
- 4 eggs, whisked with a fork, in a flat serving bowl
- about 2 cups of instant potatoes, on a plate
- around 1 cup or so of your preferred cooking oil
- 1 large, flat frying pan and a pair of tongs
1. Start with six plump green tomatoes. Slice them and set each slice on top of at least two paper towels. As you finish a paper-towel's-worth of slices, salt them. (This will draw out extra moisture.) Keep stacking the paper towels each time you add a new row. Before you start the coating process, press down on the paper towels to drive out some of the moisture.
2. After they are sliced, and particularly, if you or your helpers have been eating bananas, take a load out to your compost heap.
A NOTE ABOUT HELPERS: If your experience is like mine, you will probably have helpers at a various intervals in your process. No one has every made it through the entire process with me. Part of that could be because I can be a bit of a control freak in the kitchen ... and maybe other places as well and part of that is because it takes a long time.
3. Put the oil in your pan and place it on the burner. Turnip your burner's dial to a medium heat. (That was a vegetable pun.)
4. Then, place the milk, flour, eggs, and instant taters in separate containers all next to each other. I think of it as an assembly line. I always arranged mine from right to left towards the stove. I have a very small kitchen, so I'm limited with how I can arrange things.
HINT: My left hand is my DRY hand in this process and my right hand is my WET hand. In other words, when handling dry ingredients, I use ol' lefty. When I handle the milk and the egg, I use my right hand (which sadly, does not have a nickname for some reason). I also keep a wet rag and a dry towel handy at all times, because inevitably, I forget my rule and lefty gets wet.)
5. You will dip each slice in each of the aforementioned ingredients. First submerge the slice in milk, then dip both sides in flour, then both sides in the egg, then both sides in instant taters. (Some recipes called for corn meal, or just the flour only. I chose instant potatoes because I love the wicked crunch it provides and my psychic cooking abilities told me that it would add another dimension of yum to the treat, which turned out to be quite true.)
6. Prepare a plate with more paper towels.
7. My pan allows for four or five nice sized slices at a time. Put as many in as you can because it takes foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr and you'll want to eat them as soon as you can. In fact, go ahead, since you're working your hiney off while everyone else is filing their nails, wrestling with the dog, or calling their friends, and eat one as it comes outta the pan. You deserve at least one piping hot tomato, if not ten.
8. Cook them for around five minutes on each side, flipping with the tongs. You will know they are ready when they are a pleasantly golden shade of brown.
9. Once you sense they are done, take them out and place them on the paper towels. Repeat process until every dang-blasted green tomato is cooked.
10. Serve; eat; soak in the glory of being everyone's favorite chef.