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.

The How-To
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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September 11, 2007. Tags: . Thoughts.

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