All Things Gardening forum: Fried Green Tomatoes

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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 11:14 AM CST
Hey to all,

We grow tomatoes for one main reason, to eat them. This time of the year when your plants are loaded with baseball size firm green tomatoes, it is time to get out the old cast iron skillet. Put some oil in it and get a fire going to fry up some delicious fresh Green Tomatoes. Life just cannot get any better than this. I hope everyone has a bountiful crop this year. nodding

Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 23, 2016 1:15 PM CST
You are so right! One of my fav. foods! Every time I see them on the menu at a restaurant, I get some. Haven't had any better than my own, but the rémoulade sauce with one order in New Orleans was memorable and their FGT's (sauce notwithstanding) were probably the best from a restaurant that I've had. I'm partial to a flour breading like my gramma taught me, vs. the usual corn meal in a restaurant. Which way do you like to do 'em? And thin or thick?

I'm curious also, how would you (&whoever ends up reading this) feel about being served this food with no utensils in a restaurant at around $9? I know it's fine to eat fried things with fingers but without a fork, I have trouble getting enough of whatever sauce on each bite. Either way, I think anything served by a server should come with a full set of utensils.

The first time I tried to grow tomatoes to get big green ones for frying, I didn't read the label well, just looked at the teeny tiny pic that showed a lot of fruits. When they started turning red while still the size of a grape, I realized I'd gotten some kind of cherry tomato vine. Hilarious... and caused a few salads that wouldn't have otherwise been tossed.
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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 1:37 PM CST
Hi Tiffany,

I fix them several different ways ( with and without cornmeal), today I did the quick and easy way. Just a milk and egg wash and then into flour, cornmeal, spices and then into the oil. I did fix a cheese dip to pour over them. I do slice my tomatoes pretty thick ( 3/8" to 1/2" ) and use about 1/4" of oil in the skillet so I do have to turn them to get both sides cooked. I use 350 degrees not 375 to insure they do get cooked inside and not burn the mix. Growing up as a little kid my grandmother made the best that I have ever eaten and I’m not sure of her recipe.

To me homemade is so much better than in a restaurant, even though if they are on the menu I will order them. If you put any kind of a topping on them and you serve them right out of the skillet, a fork is a must. I agree with you about being served with utensils.

Yep, little cherry tomatoes are not designed for this dish. Lot of work for a little bite.

Thank you and have a great growing season. Thank You!
Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 23, 2016 2:00 PM CST
TY, Thomas! My stove doesn't have numbers but that's a good point about burning before being cooked inside if too high (4 instead of 3 on my stove. Smiling )

It never occurred to me to use flour AND cornmeal. Maybe that's what was so pleasant about the ones from New Orleans. My gramma said add a little salt & pepper to flour, a little sugar, coat moistened slices with that & fry, fry both sides. That got me interested enough to keep going & adding a bit more flavor. After much tinkering, lately for moistening, instead of just water, I'm using egg beaten with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, a few pinches of rosemary leaves, few taps of coriander, a glop or 2 of ranch dressing, salt & pepper, a few drops of hot sauce. Then coat with flour & fry both sides. Although the softer ones are great too, my fav ones are the thinnest ones that get almost as crisp as a potato chip.

I hope your growing season is great too! TY!
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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Hey again Tiffany,

If you are going to fry up some shrimp or fish filets with a "batter", try coating some Green Tomato Slices with the same batter, man they sure go together very good.

Thanks again,
Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 23, 2016 2:25 PM CST
You are so right, Thomas and Tiffany. New Orleans is rather famous for the rémoulade sauce as well as many other French-style food fare. Mama's rémoulade recipe' actually came from a NO restaurant famous for this sauce. I too use both flour and corn meal, but I just mix 50-50 in a brown paper bag, along with black pepper, salt, and red pepper. Sometimes, if I am brave, I'll throw in a measure of Creole spices. I dunk the sliced green tomatoes (only a max of 3/8" thick though) in egg batter, toss them in the paper sack, and just shake them up. I do the same for fried fish.

I love 'um.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 23, 2016 2:45 PM CST
The paper bag method sounds worth a try!

My favorite fried "green" tomatoes are actually ones with color just starting to break... cut them thick (1/4 to 3/8"), dunk in egg wash, then dredge in 50/50 flour/cornmeal with whatever seasoning appeals to me that day. I like them crispy on each side and cooked through in the middle.

Using partially ripe tomatoes gives a lot of extra flavor & sweetness... but they can't be more than half ripe, or they won't stay firm enough to flip & serve from the pan.
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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Butterflies Vegetable Grower Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Greenhouse
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 3:01 PM CST
drdawg said:You are so right, Thomas and Tiffany. New Orleans is rather famous for the rémoulade sauce as well as many other French-style food fare. Mama's rémoulade recipe' actually came from a NO restaurant famous for this sauce. I too use both flour and corn meal, but I just mix 50-50 in a brown paper bag, along with black pepper, salt, and red pepper. Sometimes, if I am brave, I'll throw in a measure of Creole spices. I dunk the sliced green tomatoes (only a max of 3/8" thick though) in egg batter, toss them in the paper sack, and just shake them up. I do the same for fried fish.

I love 'um.


Hey Ken and all,

I lived on my boat down in the Islands for a while and there was a Bar/Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke that cooked Creole that was fantastic. The lady cook was a local but she lived and cooked in New Orleans for 14 years before returning home. She learned the style and incorporated that with the Island spicy cooking, oh boy... Hurray! . I ate there about every week.

To me the official start of the great summer gardening is cooking that first batch of Fried Green Tomatoes.

Thanks guys,
Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Butterflies Vegetable Grower Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Greenhouse
Farmer Birds Bee Lover Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 3:03 PM CST
critterologist said:The paper bag method sounds worth a try!

My favorite fried "green" tomatoes are actually ones with color just starting to break... cut them thick (1/4 to 3/8"), dunk in egg wash, then dredge in 50/50 flour/cornmeal with whatever seasoning appeals to me that day. I like them crispy on each side and cooked through in the middle.

Using partially ripe tomatoes gives a lot of extra flavor & sweetness... but they can't be more than half ripe, or they won't stay firm enough to flip & serve from the pan.


Hi Jill,

I agree about the "ripening" tomato giving a bit more flavor. I fry them up all summer long.

Thanks,
Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 23, 2016 3:25 PM CST
I've never tried them, I think because they don't 'sound' appetizing to me. Folks sure do rave about them, though, so perhaps I'll give it a whirl this year. Lots of good tips above on prepping.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 23, 2016 3:29 PM CST
Don't forget the sauce, Deb. That's really important and makes those fried tomatoes really pop. Try frying halibut with that same combination. You'll like them prepped that way.
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Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
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Shannon
May 23, 2016 3:31 PM CST
I really want to try making these this year. Thank you for starting this thread Hurray!
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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 23, 2016 4:03 PM CST
Hello Deb and Shannon, @drdawg is correct that the sauce is most important.

Some folks just use Ranch Dressing, but I like to make a spicy cheese sauce. Velveeta cheese, diced sauteed onion, diced jalapeno peppers and just enough milk to make it good and runny. Pour this over the hot fried tomatoes as soon as they come out of the skillet...hot ziggedy...that is good eating.
Thomas75
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 23, 2016 4:24 PM CST
This is making me hungry! Oh jeez!

Ken, that's it, I ate them at Mama's!!!
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 23, 2016 4:39 PM CST
I don't think I've ever had any sauce with them. Confused
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 23, 2016 5:13 PM CST
Holy cow, Jill. You people in MD. Whistling It would be like drinking iced tea without lemon, having sweet potatoes without butter, or even worse, gin without tonic (though I do love a great, very dry martini *Blush* ). Just joking about the "MD" part.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 23, 2016 7:22 PM CST
I drink tonic without gin...

When I was teaching myself to make them, none of the recipes I looked at mentioned sauce... Bet my daughter would want to put Thousand Island on them; it's her current fave for darn near everything.

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
May 23, 2016 7:33 PM CST
I've never had them with sauce, either... but I really like to add some cayenne pepper to the breading! (actually, I add cayenne to most things Hilarious! )

It seems to me that tonic without gin is much worse than the other way around... (sorry, Jill!)
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 23, 2016 7:42 PM CST
Lime saves it! LOL

I do like tartar sauce with fried fish, so it makes sense that fried green tomatoes would be good with something on them. Something to try...
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 23, 2016 8:14 PM CST
I also drink the tonic sans gin. I drink it for the quinine. I have terrible cramps and I hope that the quinine prevents some of the nocturnal cramping. Now with what I think is gout in a thumb, I don't touch any gin whatsoever. Talk about pain in a thumb. It is so swollen, inflamed, and tender, I can't even close it on anything. It was far worse yesterday, with heat associated with the inflammation, but the swelling is down a bit and it is no longer hot to the touch. Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to use the thumb again. Thank goodness for Advil.

This is way off subject, so we can just let this post die of natural causes.
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