Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes are deliciously tart with a Southern-style crispy batter made from all-purpose flour, self-rising cornmeal, and Cajun seasoning. In the South, we love our fried green tomatoes as much as we love our sweet tea and lemon-aid on a hot summer day.

Did y’all know that Fried Green Tomatoes are actually one of the so-called Traditional Southern Menu items that had a murky background and really know one knows if it’s a really Southern standing tradition or from the Midwestern states? Imagine the shock and horror on many Southern folks reading this for the first time.

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes The first time I Googled the history of one of our favorite Southern comfort foods, Fried Green Tomatoes, I almost fell out of my chair reading an article titled “The Surprising Origins of Fried Green Tomatoes” which claims our beloved Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes may not be such a Southern creation after all. My first reaction was what? Seriously? Hold on a cotton picking minute!

Smithsonianmag.com ‘s article titled, The Surprising Origins of Fried Green Tomatoes by Lisa Bramen, stated according to Robert F. Moss, a food historian, and writer in South Carolina, “They entered the American culinary scene in the Northeast and Midwest, perhaps with a link to Jewish immigrants, and from there moved on the menu of the home-economics school of cooking teachers who flourished in the United States in the early to mid 20th century.”

In another article on SeriousEats.com titled, The Hollywood Effect: How Fried Green Tomatoes Became a Southern ‘Classic’ by Richard Moss; he writes,” Like several other iconic foods we’ve looked into for this series, the roots of fried green tomatoes in the South don’t run nearly as deep as one might think. What’s unique about their story is that we know the exact day that fried green tomatoes were transformed into a Southern icon: January 24, 1992.”

Richard Moss doesn’t know this, but one entire side of my family has resided in one southern state or another for over 200 years; trust me when I tell y’all, I have a great grannie that learned how to make Fried Green Tomatoes from her mama; which was born and raised in the state of Tennessee; so thank goodness I also read in Roberts article, this exact quote, “I’m not claiming that before 1992 no one in the South was eating fried green tomatoes—some people undoubtedly were. But, there was nothing particularly Southern about the dish.

The Moral of the story?

We never truly own a recipe or food creation someone has created something similar long before we laid claim to the recipe.I am going to go as far as saying anyone who has ever farmed tomatoes has probably created something long before we have ever thought of making it. However, don’t believe everything you read on the net about recipes, because I have read some pretty inaccurate information on a lot of recipes.

sliced green tomatoes by The McCallums Shamrock Patch Blog Slice 3 large green tomatoes about 1/4 of an inch thick, using either a very sharp knife or serrated knife. It is ok if the tomatoes have a slick pink tinge to them, as pictured above. Place tomatoes on either a wire bakers rack or plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. I usually add a bit of kosher salt to mine which also helps remove the excess moisture from the green tomatoes. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Flour dredge for fried green tomatoesPlace 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a dish, it doesn’t need to be sifted; we aren’t baking cakes here today y’all, those green tomatoes are pretty forgiving if a few lumps like you see in the picture above.

Lightly beaten eggs for fried green tomatoesCrack 3 large eggs into a bowl careful of the shells, using a small whisk, lightly beat the eggs.If you don’t have a small whisk, don’t panic; no worries, use a fork to lightly beat the eggs. They will come out the same as if you used a fancy little whisk for this task.

Fried Green tomatoes BatterIn a medium glass bowl combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 of a cup of self-rising cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, I use Slap Ya Mama brand; because I like more seasoning than salt in my Cajun Spices. If you prefer another brand, no worries use your brand. Combine the all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, and Cajun seasoning thoroughly.

flour dredge for green fried tomatoesOnce those yummy tart green tomatoes have released their excess moisture, dredge the slices one at a time in the plate of all-purpose flour, be sure to dredge the green tomatoes on both sides as that’s what helps keep that yummy batter on y’all.

egg wash for fried green tomatoesOne of my other secrets to keeping all that crunchy batter on is dipping those green tomato slices in egg instead of buttermilk like most folks do. Be sure once again to dip both sides of the green tomato slices in the lightly beaten eggs.

Fried green Tomato Batter 1Take each flour dredged and egg coated green tomato slice and place it in the batter mix, evenly coated both sides of your fried green tomato slices with the batter. Lightly shake the slice to remove excess batter if needed.

Next place the battered green tomato slices in a cast iron skillet with cooking oil about 3/4 of an inch deep; on medium-high heat. Heat the oil till if you add a drop of water it lightly sizzles. Place green tomatoes slices in hot oil and brown lightly on each side, careful not to over brown the green tomatoes, I do mine in small batches. Place on a paper towel lined plate when done and serve immediately.

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes pinterestLuckily here in Florida, the local markets know we love our Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes, so you can bet in the produce section in Winn-Dixie at any given time, all year round there will be green tomatoes available for us to fry up a batch of our Fried Green Tomatoes when we get to craving them.

Southern-Style Fried green tomatoes collage

Southern-Style Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3 very green tomatoes sliced 1/4 in thick
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning
  • kosher salt, optional

Directions

  1. Slice 3 large green tomatoes about 1/4 of an inch thick, using either a very sharp knife or serrated knife. It is ok if the tomatoes have a slick pink tinge to them, as pictured above. Place tomatoes on either a wire bakers rack or plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. I usually add a bit of kosher salt to mine which also helps remove the excess moisture from the green tomatoes. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Place 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a dish, it doesn’t need to be sifted.
  3. Crack 3 large eggs into a bowl careful of the egg shells, using a small whisk, lightly beat the eggs.If you don’t have a small whisk, don’t panic; no worries, use a fork to lightly beat the eggs. They will come out the same as if you used a fancy little whisk for this task.
  4. In a medium glass bowl combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 of a cup of self-rising cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, I use Slap Ya Mama brand; because I like more seasoning than salt in my Cajun Spices. If you prefer another brand, no worries use your brand. Combine the all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, and Cajun seasoning thoroughly.
  5. Once the green tomatoes have released their excess moisture, dredge the slices one at a time in the plate of all-purpose flour, be sure to dredge the green tomatoes on both sides as that’s what helps keep the batter on them.
  6. dip the green tomato slices in the lightly beaten egg; be sure once again to dip both sides of the green tomato slices in the lightly beaten egg.
  7. Take each flour dredged and egg coated green tomato slice and place it in the batter mix, evenly coated both sides of your fried green tomato slices with the batter. Lightly shake the slice to remove excess batter if needed.
  8. Next place in a cast iron skillet with cooking oil about 3/4 of an inch deep; on medium-high heat. Heat the oil till if you add a drop of water it lightly sizzles. Place green tomatoes slices in hot oil and brown lightly on each side, careful not to over brown the green tomatoes. I do mine in small batches.
  9. Place on a paper towel lined plate when done and serve immediately.

 

© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch,2015-2014*2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.

 

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