Rule for Life – Secret to Happiness: Always say “Yes” to the Fried Green Tomato. Always! This has been one of my life rules and it hasn’t let me down yet! So – if Fried Green Tomato is on the menu, it will be on my plate! You will soon find that everyone doesn’t know how to make a fried green tomato, but when someone does, LOOK OUT WORLD! Awesome! This recipe will ensure that you ALWAYS have the perfect fried green tomato recipe.
Here is a second caveat! You can only find good red tomatoes for about 3-4 months of the year. You can only find an EXCEPTIONAL tomato growing in a backyard or at your local farmers’ market or farm stand. However, because the world is full of yucky tomatoes for 9 months out of the year – it’s not too difficult to find a hard green tomato in the winter – which can soothe the ragged soul once it is breaded and fried. YUM!
Soothe the ragged soul – too much? Naw. If you love tomatoes – you understand.
OK – so enough of my waxing eternal about the wonders of tomatoes. Nuff said. On with the recipe.
Inspiration for Fried Green Tomato Recipe
I have been on a quest for the perfect Fried Green Tomato recipe for about 2 years. At first I had my tomatoes too ripe. Then I sliced my tomatoes too thick. Then I had my oil too hot. Then the batter wasn’t right. Then I tried a tempura batter – yuck. Finally, I tried an adaptation of my onion ring batter and BAM – I hit it right on the head. So, be careful to make sure that your tomato slices are the right thickness. Don’t try to pack too much breading on your tomato – just go with what it does in batter box. Don’t try to skimp on a step. Go with the bacon grease – you will be glad that you did. Garnishing with the freshly grated parmesan isn’t necessary – but does add a nice flavor.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~ James 1:27
- Bacon grease
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large egg – beaten
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbs white vinegar
- ½ cup all purpose flour – divided
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 Hard green tomatoes (no red and a very firm feel) sliced in ¼ inch slices – discard the ends.
- Kosher salt to taste
- Garnish – fresh parmesan
- Dip – ranch dressing dip
- Fill the bottom of a cast iron skillet with about ¼ inch of bacon grease and then mix in the vegetable oil to equal ¼ inch. Set stove top just below medium and allow the grease to become hot. If you use a thermometer – 350 degrees. If you splash a drop of water into the pan, you will know the grease is hot when it begins to sputter loudly as you drop the water in. While the oil heats complete steps 2-5.
- Rinse off and then slice your tomato in ¼ inch slices and set aside
- Place ¼ cup flour in a dish large enough for a tomato slice and set aside(I use a cereal bowl size bowl for each of these).
- Mix egg, milk and vinegar together in a separate bowl (large enough for a tomato slice) and set aside.
- Mix ¼ cup flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Set these bowls up in a row on your cabinet as follows: flour only, egg mix, flour/cornmeal mix
- When oil is ready, first coat both sides of a slice of tomato in the plain flour, then dredge in the egg mix coating both sides well, then dip into the corn meal/flour mix – coating both sides well. Then place into the hot oil. Do not move the slices around – allow to fry for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and apply salt/pepper to taste. You can cook more than once slice at a time – but do not crowd and do not allow the slices to touch while cooking. Turn very gently so as not to disturb the coating.
- Drain on a paper towel and allow to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan. Dip in Ranch dressing dip.