Fried green tomatoes with a horseradish and garlic aioli. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
For the dry ingredients, I mix stone-ground cornmeal with unbleached flour, salt pepper and a little sugar and a little dried marjoram or oregano.
Get all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go: slice tomatoes, beat egg, mix dry ingredients, and lay some papertowels on a plate for draining your fried green tomatoes.
Green tomato slices ready for frying.
Be sure oil is hot--not smoking though!--when you add the battered tomatoes.
Drain tomatoes while you cook the next batch.
About 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
About 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
About 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
About 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Italian oregano or sweet marjoram
1 extra-large egg
3 to 4 green tomatoes, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
Oil for frying (I use sunflower seed or olive oil)
This Southern-inspired dish is beloved by folks who live south of the Mason-Dixon line. Although these are usually prepared in the summer months when tomatoes are in the pre-ripening stage, fall is a great time to enjoy the last of the harvest. Fried green tomatoes can be eaten as an appetizer, alone, or with a garlic aioli or corn salsa; they are often served as a side dish with supper, and they are also good on bed of greens as one might serve goat cheese rounds.
Personally, for this recipe, I like my tomatoes mostly green, with a hint of pinky-orange–when they go from unripe-hard to slightly firm and have a little more juice and sweetness. Green tomatoes are tart and acidic, so the little bit of sugar is a good addition to the dried ingredients.
In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with the seasonings; season generously with salt and pepper. Beat the egg in another small shallow bowl.
Heat oil in a skillet to about 1/2-inch deep over medium heat. While the oil is heating place paper towels on a baking sheet.
One at a time, dip the tomato slices into the egg, and then dredge them, on both sides in the flour mixture. I use a fork to handle the tomato slices—taking them from egg to dry ingredients to skillet. Carefully drop them into the hot oil until the pan is full. Saute them in one layer—you might need to make them in a few batches. Turn them in about 3 to 5 minutes, when they are golden brown on the underside. Saute for another 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and remove them to the pan with the paper towels to drain, while you cook the rest.
Serve hot with your favorite accompaniment.
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