Haul out your cast iron skillet: Green Tomato season is upon us.
Growing up in the Midwest, the offspring of vaguely-Southern expatriates, Fried Green Tomatoes were always a part of summer time family dinners. As grown ups who have even further abandoned the dish’s rural roots, frying them makes us feel connected to the family members who did this long before Southern food was trendy.
For the uninitiated, Green Tomatoes aren’t a fancy heirloom breed. They’re the regular old red ones that just haven’t had a chance to get ripe. They’re rock hard, with extra bitter seeds and sour, almost tannic flesh. Once fried, they are a pleasantly tart and, well, fried. The perfect vehicle for your favorite hot sauce or devouring before they even make it to the table.
- ¾ cup Corn Flour
- ¾ cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 3 cups Buttermilk
- 1 tsp Tabasco, plus more for serving
- 4 large, firm unripened Green Tomatoes
- 8 oz Crisco (our preference) or Peanut Oil
- You will also need:
- a cast iron skillet
- two shallow dishes
- a wire rack or paper towels for draining
- Frying always starts with a well-organized kitchen.
- Have your wire rack ready to hold the Tomatoes one they’re fried. Make sure that you have a lid, baking sheet, or fire extinguisher safe for oil-based fires ready if shit gets bad. Mix the Corn Flour/Flour/Salt/Pepper into one shallow dish and Buttermilk/Tabasco in the other.
- Slice your Tomatoes in ½” thick discs and dredge them in the Flour mixture.
- Grab your cast iron. There is no alternative.
- Fill it with your Oil of choice and begin to heat over medium heat. Once it starts to shimmer (and a pinch of flour dropped into the oil starts sizzling immediately), begin to batter the Tomato slices.
- Since they have already been dredged, dip into the Buttermilk. Gently shake off any excess liquid, and coat the slice completely in the Flour once again. Immediately drop into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on your wire rack or paper towel; lather, rinse, repeat.
- Serve hot with plenty of Tabasco. Maybe think about topping them with a slice of Country Ham, a sunny Egg, and Red-Eye Gravy for a Redneck Benedict next time.
- The last time we fried we pointed this out too. If you added a few pinches of Baking Soda to the left over Flour Dredge, and stirred in enough Buttermilk to make a thick batter: you could probably make some pretty dope hushpuppies.