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Fried green tomatos - best method?


phaelon56
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I've had these twice before - a former GF grew up in the South and fixed them for me once - she cut them thin and used cornmeal as I recall. Very tasty and had a hint of sweetness. I've also had them at Marroon's on West 16th St in NYC as an appetizer. They cut them thick and the texture seemed slightly firmer but there was still a hint of sweetness along with the tartness.

I picked up a few at the greenmarket in NYC Union Square on saturday and the only ones I could find seemed just a bit too green to me. Sliced 'em about 3/8" to 1/2" thick, dipped in mik, then egg and then in mix of 1/2 cornmeal and one half flour with some cayenne papper and a dash of salt. Oil was good and hot. Most of the flour/cornmeal mix stayed on in the frying process and they were not greasy but the hint of sweetness was lackign and they were way too firm on the inside - almost tough.

Should I alter my techniques in some way or were these simply tomatoes that were a bit too green for this use?

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When I make them I add about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of sugar(depending how many I'm frying) to the flour mixture and have frying the tomatoes till golden brown, pop them into the oven till they are fork tender (usually 3-5 minutes)

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There's a yummy in my tummy.

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I've had these twice before - a former GF grew up in the South and fixed them for me once - she cut them thin and used cornmeal as I recall. Very tasty and had a hint of sweetness.  I've also had them at Marroon's on West 16th St in NYC as an appetizer. They cut them thick and the texture seemed slightly firmer but there was still a hint of sweetness along with the tartness.

I picked up a few at the greenmarket in NYC Union Square on saturday and the only ones I could find seemed just a bit too green to me. Sliced 'em about 3/8" to 1/2" thick, dipped in mik, then egg and then in mix of 1/2 cornmeal and one half flour with some cayenne papper and a dash of salt. Oil was good and hot. Most of the flour/cornmeal mix stayed on in the frying process and they were not greasy but the hint of sweetness was lackign and they were way too firm on the inside - almost tough.

Should I alter my techniques in some way or were these simply tomatoes that were a bit too green for this use?

Those green tomatos were still just a little too green. That's the stage when it is best to buy them, but wait a day or two before you prepare them. When I buy green tomatos, I want them to have the feel of a hard soft ball. I start cooking with them when they have just a little more give, unless I am pickling with them. In that case, I use them right away.

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Thanks Aurora - I think that must be the ticket. I considered putting them in a brown bag for a day or two but was heading out of town and needed to cook them then or never. I did find a recipe on epicurious (or perhaps a comment) that had the sugar suggested by first respondent but I'd prefer to get that hint of sweetness from the tomatoes themselves. have you tried it with just cornmeal? I;m thinking it would be a bit crunchier which I like...

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Thanks Aurora - I think that must be the ticket. I considered putting them in a brown bag for a day or two  but was heading out of town and needed to cook them then or never.  I did find a recipe on epicurious (or perhaps a comment) that had the sugar suggested by first respondent but I'd prefer to get that hint of sweetness from the tomatoes themselves. have you tried it with just cornmeal? I;m thinking it would be a bit crunchier which I like...

Generally, I leave the bag to pears and reserve space on my window sill for the tomatos. I find that putting tomatos in brown paper bag accelerates the ripening just fine, but in such a way that the tomatos become excessively watery and not as flavorful. It will do in a pinch, but if you do it, especially with green tomatos that you want to stay green, don't leave town. When you return, you will find that your recipe plans will have changed from Southern to Italian. Green tomatos on the window sill shouldn't stay there for more than a day or so to get that soft, soft ball feel, but just leaving them in a bowl on the kitchen table works well too.

I agree with you, I prefer to get the sweetness from the tomatos themelves rather than adding sugar. Additional sugar tends to add a cloying sweetness that is more candy-like than tomato-like.

I assume you are asking me about fried green tomatos with regard to the cornmeal. I have never tried it with just cornmeal, I need something to counter the grit. I add a little flour and baking powder in addition to salt, pepper, and cayenne. I dredge them once, let them rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes, and dredge them a second time before frying in canola or peanut oil.

I hope this is helpful. :biggrin:

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Aurora - I understand about the need for cutting the cornmeal now that you explain it. Is the dip in milk and or egg necessary? It seemed to have little to no effect on the outer skin and not sure if it even helped the mix stick to the rest of it (but the firmness was an issue). Will try the fridge and second dip method. Hopefully I'll be able to grab some more this weekend and try this again.

I do recall having fried red tomatoes and they were tasty but a bit too sweet and soggy. the green ones really do the trick for frying (once you figure out how to do it!). In a separate note... I used to love making omelets with some sauteed red tomatoeas and carmelized onions, then drop in a few small globs of cream cheese before folding them over and serving... mmmm! Tried this combo again recently with some shredded lox but didn't have tomatos that morning and it was crying out for them...

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I understand about the need for cutting the cornmeal now that you explain it.  Is the dip in milk and or egg necessary?

I think it is, but you should beat the egg in the milk, rather than using the ingredients seperately. Better yet, use buttermilk, and allow the tomato slices to soak in the egg and buttermilk mixture for 10 minutes prior to dredging. Let it rest, then, one slice at a time, do a really fast dunk just prior to the second dredging. That should give you a nice crisp outside with a soft but firm inside.

Oh, don't forget to serve it with hot sauce or Tabasco.

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Oh yes... the hot sauce. I brought a couple bottles of Marie's back from Belize and it's the real deal... if you haven't tried it I highly recommend that you do. It's based on carrot juice and is the most flavorful hot sauce Ive ever tried (they also have a green variety based on prickly pear juice but the orange stuff is the best)

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Oh yes...  the hot sauce.  I brought a couple bottles of Marie's back from Belize and it's the real deal... if you haven't tried it I highly recommend that  you do.

Where can I get it in the United States? I don't mind going out of my way, but for a condiment, Belize is just a little too far. :biggrin:

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the fried tomatoes i grew up eating were always red, and dredged in flour--i loved 'em, soft and tangy, but never fix them that way now.

keep trying til they come out right. you've already been given perfect advice on how to dredge and fry. my two cents' worth is to serve them up with a spicy tangy tomato relish or chutney--i used to always make a creamy mayo/sour cream dip but then a friend suggested something tomato-based and it really does bring out the sweet flavor of the tomatoes. i'm hooked.

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Oh yes...  the hot sauce.  I brought a couple bottles of Marie's back from Belize and it's the real deal... if you haven't tried it I highly recommend that  you do.

Where can I get it in the United States? I don't mind going out of my way, but for a condiment, Belize is just a little too far. :biggrin:

I have always brought back bottles of various of Marie Sharp's hot sauces when I visit Belize.... It's one of the few (if not only) food items that Belize has to offer.

But since I no longer travel as much as I once did, I've sought out other sources. I've found it at several gourmet grocery stores, like Central Market here in Austin, and other shops that specialize in hot sauces.

I think you'll be able to find it in the States fairly easily if you look.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I guess I'll have to put in a plug for a merchant from my hometown of Syracuse NY.

Go to www.hotshoppe.com

Despite my practice of avoiding businesses that use the word "ye olde" or "shoppe", I find them to have the best selection of hot sauces that I've ever seen (over 3,000 if I recall correctly). I prefer the Marie Sharp's Hot rather than the Fiery. The Green is good on certain dishes, especially with egg dishs like Huevos Rancheros but I find the Hot to be the most versatile. I also agree that Belize has a limited number of interesting food products. Marie Sharp's also makes a truly excellent Banana Jam if you can find it. I'm not a drinker but I brought back a bottle each of Lighthouse Lager and Belikin Beer for my dad - he pronunced them both to be very good. It's the fresh fish dinners with rice 'n beans on the side that make Belizian food worthwhile. Mostly have to be on the coast or the cayes for that. Inland it's stewed chicken followed by more stewed chicken and if you don't like that there's always stewed chicken

:blink:

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I prefer the Marie Sharp's Hot rather than the Fiery.  The Green is good on certain dishes, especially with egg dishs like Huevos Rancheros but I find the Hot to be the most versatile.

The mild green has a wonderful flavor and little heat. I always have some on hand for entertaining people who for either dietary or preference reasons don't like "hot" hot sauce. :biggrin:

Just had a dinner party and started with Mexican Shrimp Cocktails. Had a small basket with a variety of hot sauces that I passed... several of the people declined, but when I told them about Marie's mild green, they tried it and loved it.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm reviving this ancient thread because tomato season is once again upon us and I finally made fried green tomatoes again. The suggestion to stick them in the fridge or freezer after the first dredging is the way to go. We cut them thick (about 1/4" to 3/8"), did an egg wash and dredged. In the freezer for 20 minutes, dredged a second time and then fried until crispy. Being in a remote place (visiting some fellow eGulleteers who were vacationing in a mountain cabin), we were without cornmeal and substituted some steel cut grits. They make for a crunchier finish than cornmeal and although grits won't be my first choice for this dish, they served as a worthy substitute for cornmeal. The addition of some Tony Sachery's Cajun seasoning to the grits was also very nice. All who sampled them also agreed that the tomatoes which were green on the outside but had a mix of reddish orange and green flesh on the inside presented the best complexity of flavor vs the all green ones. The one change I'd make in the future is to peel the tomatoes first - we did them unpeeled and the meal does not stick to the sides.

I think I'm ready to go on a fried green tomato binge :biggrin:

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  • 10 years later...

What  sauces go good with a fried green tomato?

I like garlic aioli or chipotle mayo.  

 

If you've never had a fried green tomato BLT, please try one!  Heavenly!

 

We recently moved to an 'Old" Florida small town and there are 3 restaurants that serve FGT in various forms.  The BLT;  a FGT grilled cheese;  and an FGT omelet are the ones we like best. 

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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What  sauces go good with a fried green tomato?

Here's a recipe I got from one of the local restaurants for the sauce they use on Fried Green Tomatoes. It's a great combination of flavors and extremely easy to make!

 

Creek Sauce

 

12oz   Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

1/8 tsp            Cayenne Pepper

1/8 tsp            Paprika

1/2 tsp            Parsley (chopped finely)

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I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Waffle  iron  ..sweet

 

Nice    What variety  of Tomato  ?

 

Just about any kind of tomatoes. I even use somewhat ripe ones. To prevent them from getting too watery, I first put them through the dehydrator then waffle iron.

 

dcarch

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It's 34 deg F outside at the moment and there is a freeze warning in effect.  So I brought in all my little green tomatoes, some red ones, all the blueberries I could find, a basil plant, and the prettiest nasturtium.

 

For dinner I skewered six of the smallest green tomatoes and grilled them teppan yaki style.  I can't say they were worth eating.

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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The key is to pre-salt them... that'll soften them up slightly and season them throughout. Salt and pepper the slices in a bowl and let sit out for about an hour or so. Pour off any liquid that renders then dredge however you prefer. 

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