Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes, people really eat those things down here...

I recall when I was growing up in Utah hearing about fried green tomatoes, and being horrified that someone would actually eat something like that. I dislike the mushy, slimy texture of cooked tomatoes, so the thought of eating a cooked tomato that's not even ripe yet? Disgusting. How can you eat something like that?

Very easily I've discovered.

I made my first attempt at fried green tomatoes about a week ago. I had tried them before at resturants, and while they weren't disgusting, neither were they something I wanted to seek out. However, I'm very committed right now to local, seasonal eating, and there is nothing that says "late October in Georgia" more than a plate of fried green tomatoes.

Green tomato anything is a great way to use up those late season tomatoes that just will not ripen now that it's cooler. I made these using the last tiny tomatoes from my yard and a few other things I'd been saving. This is a perfect example of poverty food.

First, I sliced my tomatoes and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. The salt will dry out the tomato, which makes the breading stick. Leave them on the counter for about ten minutes. Breading is very simple. The technique for a tomato is the same as a piece of meat. First, you roll in flour. I used unseasoned all purpose. Remember, the tomatoes are already seasoned. Then I dipped them in an egg and milk mixture. Then you roll them in bread crumbs. I ran a slice of home made beer bread through my food processor to get my bread crumbs. The flour gives the egg something to stick to, the egg gives the bread crumbs something to stick to. If you've ever bitten into something fried and had the crispy outside come away from the inside bit, they didn't use flour first.

While I was mucking about with the breading, I melted some saved bacon fat in a pan. Bacon fat is great. It's full of flavor and it comes free with your breakfast. After I finished breading, the tomatoes went in the pan.

From blog

Notice, I'm only cooking a few at a time. Crowding the pan means they take longer to cook and soak up more grease. I like bacon fat, but I like my arteries more.

From blog

As they reach doneness, pull them out and lay them on paper towels to drain. If you're super concerned about the grease, you can lay them on a cooling rack. Since I only had a few tomatoes, I wasn't too worried about them reabsorbing the grease.

And thus concludes the saga of my first attempt at growing my own tomatoes.

Submitted to Grow Your Own.


Andrea said...

You are tapping into my Southern roots; those look so good. I had a bunch of green tomatoes at the end of the season, but none had enough diameter to make them worth frying, otherwise I would have posted on that too! They really are easy, and my mom has a recipe for spicy fried green tomatoes that is yummy. Great with some hot sauce on top!

Jennifer Liang said...

Yeah, these were pretty tiny, about half dollar size. They tasted pretty good though. I plan to grow more tomatoes next year, so we can enjoy this more than once.