My mother grew up eating fried green tomatoes as a breakfast food alongside home-cured bacon and ham, but this Deep South classic can be found nowadays in the swankiest restaurants, often accompanied with top-shelf seafood sauces and elaborate presentations. I revisit this dish in a much humbler setting – my own little 7th ward kitchen – and with tomatoes picked from my mother’s backyard garden.
What I used:
1/2 cup frying oil
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup seasoned fish fry
3-4 medium-sized green tomatoes
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
seasoned salt, to taste
What I did:
Place about 1/2 cup of frying oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Turn heat to very low, in order to warm the oil while you prep.
Arrange in a line three separate shallow bowls or pie pans. In the first, mix the flour and cornmeal thoroughly. In the second, thoroughly beat an egg. In the third, place the seasoned fish fry.
On a plate or cutting board, slice the tomatoes into about 1/4- to 1/3-inch slices, discarding the tops and butts. You will get about four slices per tomato.
Season tomato slices with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, onion powder and garlic powder to your taste.
Turn heat under your skillet or Dutch oven up to medium high. If you use a thermometer, get your oil up to about 350 degrees. If you’re old school, heat your oil until a drop of the beaten egg sizzles and fries when dropped into the oil.
Dredge four or five tomato slices into the flour-cornmeal mixture, then the egg and finally the seasoned fish fry. Place gently into heated oil. Fry until edges begin to turn golden brown. Using tongs, turn once and fry on the other side.
Remove fried tomato slices from oil and drain on a rack or on paper towels.
Enjoy your fried green tomatoes plain, as an appetizer with ranch dressing and celery, on a poboy or topped with a crab ravigote (thanks Katrina Pete Dunn!) or crawfish sauce.
I like them best plain with a little hot sauce, but they’re so good you can’t go wrong no matter how you do it!