Fried Green Tomatoes

This summer I am featuring some of my favorite garden produce recipes. For the entire list, see the Recipes page or click on the recipes label.

After last weekend's tomato plant fiasco, I had that one green tomato sitting on my counter and every time I would clean up the kitchen, I would kind of fixate on it, willing it to ripen on its own.  I half-heartily thought about putting it in a paper bag with an apple or a banana, or some other similar trick, but since I had neither fruit in my kitchen at the time, it seemed like a lot of extra effort for one little tomato.  Then the thought occurred to me that maybe I should look for a recipe that uses green tomatoes. 

And what more brilliant choice than fried green tomatoes?  (I can't even type that without wanting to say, "the secret's in the sauce," but no worries, there's no barbecue in this recipe). 

I spent an evening looking at a dozen or more recipes, trying to determine what would be the best approach to this endeavor, and finally came up with the recipe below, which is not so much directly from any one source, but more of a conglomeration of a number of recipes.  I actually do this a lot when I cook, which is great for creating exactly what I want, but it does make it considerably more difficult to go back and write it all down so I (or someone else) can duplicate it at a later time.

And I definitely want to be able to duplicate this recipe.  It's certainly not an everyday recipe, but it does make for a nice treat to mix things up a bit.  I loved the combination of tangy tomato and spicy breading just by itself, but I'm sure there's also a perfect dipping sauce to go with these somewhere out there.  That might just be my goal for the end of the season when I have to pull the last of the tomatoes off of the vines (right now ripe tomatoes are too precious of a commodity to make too many fried green tomatoes). 

Fried Green Tomatoes
3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning, prepared or your own blend*
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup cornmeal**
1/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil

Slice tomatoes into half inch thick slices, sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Prepare in three separate bowls, the flour and seasoning, the milk and egg, and the cornmeal.

First coat the tomatoes with the flour/seasoning mixture, then in the milk/egg mixture, and finally in the cornmeal.

Heat the oil in a frying pan (I found a small pan works best) and cook tomatoes in small batches, 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  Place on paper towels to drain and cool for a couple of minutes.  Serve warm. 

* I have been using the following recipe for Cajun seasoning: 2 T salt, 1 T dried oregano, 1 T paprika, 1 T cayenne pepper, 1 T ground black pepper.  I have no idea how authentic it is, but this combo is tasty, all the same.

**If you're not a big cornmeal fan, you can cut the cornmeal with some finely crushed breadcrumbs. 

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