Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

No your eyes do not deceive you. This is in fact my second post in as many days. I made fried green tomatoes yesterday and they insisted on being mentioned. It was as though they were talking to me from the pan. Sizzling up at me, saying, "Don't forget about us."

How could I really? I love fried green tomatoes. I used to think my mom was a little weird for eating fried green tomatoes. They look a little unnatural. Firstly because my majority experience with tomatoes is with red ones. Second because once you dredge them in flour and brown them up in a pan they look a little rancid. Oh, but they're delicious!

Once you taste them, the brownish colouring they acquire in the pan will be absolutely tantalizing. And the smell. Honestly I think just about anything frying in a pan will smell good. For instance I don't really like onions, but when I smell them frying I swear I could eat them all. Fried green tomatoes smell like summer.

These particular ones came form my mom's garden and they were the best green tomatoes I've had in a while. This may be because I haven't had any since last summer, but truly these are some delicious tomatoes. Firm enough not to go to mush in the pan, with just enough sweetness to cut any bitterness.

Fried green tomatoes are perfect for a quick summer lunch or snack because they're almost laughably easy to make. No one wants to labour over food when it's hot outside. You can eat them on their own, as I usually do, but I imagine they would also be delicious on a sandwich, or tossed with pasta. I've been drooling over the thought of them on an English muffin topped with a poached egg. One of these mornings when I have time for a proper breakfast I'll give it a try.

For now it's your turn to experiment with them. Mix one part flour and one part cornmeal, add salt and pepper to taste. I'm not going to give you exact measurements because I never measure when I make these and how much you need really depends on how many tomatoes you're frying. Slice your tomatoes into rounds and coat both sides of the slice with your flour mixture.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and place the slices so they're not overlapping. After a couple minutes flip them with a fork. They should be nicely browned. A couple more minutes and ta-da! Fried green tomatoes. Repeat the process with the rest of the tomato slices.

The cornmeal is a wonderful addition that my mom discovered a couple years ago. It adds complexity of flavour and a nice texture contrast. If you don't have cornmeal you can absolutely make them with just flour, salt, and pepper. They'll still taste good, but I highly recommend the cornmeal. It's well worth the purchase and you can always use the rest of it for cornbread.

It's difficult to fully explain what fried green tomatoes taste like. I can't quite put my finger on it. There's something slightly tangy about them. Something of under-ripe fruit. Savory with the tiniest hint of sweetness. You'll just have to make them yourself to understand. They'll sizzle up at from the pan and say, "You won't be able to forget us anytime soon."

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