Fried Green Tomatoes
After my mom and I watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes we were intrigued by the idea. So the next fall (whenever that was) we used a few of the tomatoes that were not going to ripen and made a batch of fried green tomatoes. We have been making them nearly every fall since then.
I've seen a few recipes and tried a few variations but prefer our offbeat breading (falafel mix, not sure why we tried it in the first place though). This year I think I perfected the sauce that accompanies the fried green tomatoes- a chipotle infused sour cream (as suggested by Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven, though I don't like her puffy coating for the tomatoes).
You need green tomatoes, I guesstimate that 1 large tomato will feed one person, but that depends on your appetite and whether it is a meal or side dish…last week 3 tomatoes made enough for 4 people with a couple slices left over and Fantastic Foods Falafel mix. I pick mine up in the bulk section of a natural grocery store, or the natural foods section of a large grocery store. Oh and oil for frying, I also suggest a cast iron skillet to do the frying… once the temp is right (medium on the large burner of my electric stove) it holds nicely.
First make the chipotled sour cream (Mollie Katzen's recipe is for chipotle cream) by spooning the desired amount of sour cream into a bowl and mixing in some minced canned chipotle (the stuff that comes in adobo sauce), a bit of the adobo sauce and a sprinkling of chipotle powder. MK recommends 1 cup sour cream and up to 1 teaspoon of the minced chipotles. I think I minced one chipotle for around 1 cup of sour cream, frankly I didn't measure, I just added and tasted as I went. Of course it gained heat as it sat so do keep that in mind. Today I was lazy and made it with just chipotle powder and some of the adobo sauce.
Now make the fried green tomatoes. I suggest having everything set out in advance because it goes quickly once the frying starts. So, you dump some falafel mix in a pie dish (my preferred dredging container); wash, dry then slice the tomatoes about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick and dredge them with mix. Then you pan fry them (just enough oil to cover one half of the tomato) until golden, flipping once. I suggest using trusty tongs like these, though I think ours are a Target brand that cost about a buck less. Then you set the cooked slices on a plate lined with towels to absorb a bit of the grease. Serve with small amounts of chipotled sour cream.
If you need to feel better about your fried meal add a big green salad – the tomatoes are surprisingly filling, but maybe that is cause I eat so many when I make them. I've also seen a recipe that makes a sandwich with fried green tomatoes, smoked cheese and some sort of greens (was it arugula) on good bread . I might try that next time I pick up green tomatoes though I don't know if that will be next week or next fall.
Note: the fried green tomatoes I made for lunch today, shown above, are a bit red due to the tomato beginning to ripen. I don't recommend this, because the tomato gets too mush to deal with while being cooked if anything but green. It also looses its tangy bite. I also had to mix up my own breading (flour and cornmeal, two breading options mixed together with garlic powder, cumin and dried parsley, spices I found in a falafel recipe as well as the traditional salt and pepper) since I was out of falafel mix, it was okay, but next time I'm going back to my falafel mix.
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