Fried Green Tomatoes
Source of Recipe
From "Beans, Greens & Sweet Georgia Peaches" by Damon Lee Fowler
List of Ingredients
- 4 to 6 medium very green tomatoes
- Salt and whole black pepper in a peppermill
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten in a shallow bowl
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fine-ground white cornmeal
- 1 cup bacon drippings or a mixture of vegetable oil and drippings
- Cut out the stems of the tomatoes and cut them crosswise into slices at least ⅜ inch thick. Don't peel them. Sprinkle them very lightly with sugar and salt, and lay flat in one layer on a platter or rimmed baking sheet for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them lightly until well mixed, spread the flour and meal in similar bowls, and have them all ready by the stove.
- Wipe the tomatoes well with a kitchen towel or paper towels. There should be no sugar remaining on them at all. Season them lightly with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Roll each slice one at a time in flour, shake off the excess, and dip both sides in the eggs, letting the excess drain back into the bowl. Roll them quickly in the meal, gently shake off the excess, and lay them on a clean plate or wire cooling rack. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes so that the breading can set.
- Preheat the oven to 150 to 170°F (the "warm" setting), and fit a wire cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet. Put the fat into a well-seasoned deep iron (or nonstick) skillet and turn on the heat to medium. When it is hot but not smoking (around 365°F), slip the tomato slices in the pan. Fry until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then gently turn with a spatula and continue cooking until both sides are golden. Lift them out with tongs or a frying skimmer, letting them drain until they no longer drip, then lay them on the prepared cooling rack and keep them in the warm oven while you cook the next batch. Repeat until all the tomatoes are fried. The tomatoes cannot be reheated so serve them at once.
"The classic taste can only be had with bacon drippings, but vegetarians can use peanut oil instead, as it comes closest to producing the right crispness, though of course the flavor is in no way the same.
The sugar is not intended to add sweetness to the tomatoes, but only to help remove the bitterness that some green tomatoes have. It should in no way interfere with the tartness of the tomatoes or make them taste sweet, so use only the very lightest sprinkling, and be sure you wipe it thoroughly from the slices before breading them."