I’d like to start off by thanking M PROFUSELY for my birthday poem (I can’t believe she wrote that!) and for the mile-high cheesecake! It looked beautiful, and I bet it tasted even better than it looked!
Oh, and clearly someone is going through old family photos. Wow. 😉
I’m sure you all saw the canvas photo transfer challenge I gave M a few weeks ago, and saw how fabulously it turned out! Not gonna lie, I was super impressed. Now it’s my turn. M told me that my challenge was going to involve a recipe and I immediately got a little nervous. Cooking doesn’t usually make me nervous but M is much braver than I am in the kitchen. She always tells me about peanut oil, peanut powder (?), and coconut milk and I’m like ‘Ummm, I’m happy if I get dinner on the table, I’m stickin to what I know.’ HOWEVER. When she said I had to make fried green tomatoes, I got suuuper excited. Have you all seen the movie? I love it. It’s a must-see. It’s right up there with Steel Magnolias. For those of you who’ve seen Fried Green Tomatoes, M and I have always been taken in by the crunch noise Ninny makes when she bites into a fried green tomato- it just sounds delicious. I totally replicated that noise when I tasted mine. It was life-changing.
The thing that’s wonderful about the recipe I followed was that I had most of the ingredients in the pantry already, so it is a relatively cheap dish! The one snag that I did hit that I hope doesn’t disappoint too greatly is that I could not find green tomatoes. I know, right? I was bummed, but I made do! I got very firm Heirloom tomatoes instead and carried on! (that phrase seems to be popular right now…Keep Calm and Buy Heirloom Tomatoes…haha) p.s. I didn’t even know what exactly green tomatoes were until my mom told me- just unripe red tomatoes. Sounds kind of self-explanatory, but I wasn’t sure if they were another type of tomato or what!
First I cut up the tomatoes in half inch slices…..
Sprinkled the tomatoes with salt and let them set while I mixed the dry goods….
Next, I got the vegetable oil heating in the frying pan on medium high, and started coating the tomatoes! (I only cooked three at a time, and I coated each tomato individually right before throwing it in the pan). First the flour mixture on both sides, then the milk mixture, then the bread crumbs. **key point!! I ALWAYS get ahead of myself and throw food in a semi-hot frying pan. I held back, and listened to Chef Robert (from Restaurant Impossible, love him.). “Do not put food in a warm frying pan! It. Doesn’t. Work!’
Tossing these things in the pan made the most delicious hissssss….
….aaaaand take them out! I laid them on paper towel to absorb excess oil….and bit into it while it was still piping hot. It was so worth it. I did let it cool for a minute, but honestly, you want to eat it hot out of the pan. You get that crunch of the crust, then the hot, fresh tomato…..
Holy patootie, people. It tasted phenomenal.
I will be making this as a side dish quite often, I think. They took no more than 20 minutes and they are really really good.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green (or heirloom!) tomatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (the recipe says it’s optional, but I really advise you use it!)
1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk)
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup fine plain breadcrumbs (I only had Italian, and they tasted great!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning, buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain. EAT THEM ALL. Seriously. I did share, but there are no leftovers 🙂