Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It's Not Easy Eating Green
Fried green tomatoes entered Americana as a classic Southern food after release of the wonderful 1991 movie of the same name. Surprisingly it seems that they may have their origins in the Northeast or Midwest. I found a nice blog article by Robert F. Moss that helps explain the mysterious roots of this famous food. Regardless of the region that can correctly claim it, none of my family eat or ate green tomatoes and it's a dish that I have no experience making or eating. I do have a number of friends who salivate at the mention of it.
The basic recipe calls for dipping tomato slices in flour or cornmeal and then frying in oil. Many other recipes add egg and breadcrumbs. Why use green and not red tomatoes? They are more solid than fully ripe ones and will hold up during the cooking, staying firmer for dipping in a sauce.
Inspired by infodr, I've done a little research and come up with some recipes. I haven't tried any of them yet because I'm still holding out hope that some of my remaining tomatoes will turn red. Click on the names for each recipe to go directly to the ingredients and directions. They all received high ratings at their websites.
A recipe for "Classic Fried Green Tomatoes" from southernfood.about.com is about as simple as it gets: salt and pepper, cornmeal, and bacon fat. My guess is that these will taste closest to the results that the first cook got upon throwing green tomatoes in a pan.
Another comes from simplyrecipes.com and is simply "Fried Green Tomatoes". It looks like it is a more modern, healthier option by using a small amount of olive oil for frying.
Tyler Florence from FoodNetwork.com offers an alternative with more ingredients and potential for much more flavor. His "Fried Green Tomatoes" adds garlic and cayenne before a dip in buttermilk. Yum, yum.
There is something about the red-ripe flavor of a fresh garden tomato that exemplifies the entire gardening experience in a single bite. That's what I strive for by growing them in my garden. Thanks infodr, because I'm intrigued about the possibilities of green tomatoes. But until the frost hits and winter has taken hold, I'll aim for ripeness.