Fried green tomatoes
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Traditional preparation of fried green tomatoes begins by cutting the tomatoes into approximately 1/4-inch (~0.6 cm) slices. They are then seasoned with salt and pepper, coated with plain, coarse cornmeal, and shallow fried in bacon fat for a few minutes each side, or until golden brown. Shallow frying is preferred, as the tomatoes do not float in the oil, which allows the weight of the tomato to press the cornmeal to the underside of the tomato. This negates the need for a 'wash' (see below).
A 'wash' may be used; in this case, the sliced tomatoes are first dipped in a liquid before the cornmeal is added. This liquid is usually buttermilk, or occasionally beaten egg. Using beaten egg results in a slightly firmer texture than using buttermilk. 'Washes' are used because cornmeal does not readily stick to raw green tomatoes. Adding the liquid helps the cornmeal stay in place during the cooking process. This also results in the coating on the tomato becoming thicker and less crunchy when compared with tomatoes cooked without a 'wash'.
Pennsylvania Dutch version
While fried green tomatoes are usually considered a southern dish they can be found in northern Pennsylvania Dutch homes as well. The northern version is more likely to be made with white flour rather than corn flour or corn meal. Also, green tomatoes tend to be prepared at the end of the season in the north when the remaining fruit is harvested before the first frosts, whereas green tomatoes are picked throughout the season in the south.
While fried green tomatoes have traditionally been a side dish, served with pepper vinegar, they have begun to appear in other dishes.
- Flay, Bobby. "Food Network: Bobby Flay Fried Green Tomato BLT throwdown". Food Network.
- "Fried Green Tomatoes (Pennsylvania Dutch Version)", Teri's Kitchen, Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
- Chalew, Gail Naron. "Fried Green Tomatoes: A Taste of Old New Orleans", NPR, Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
- Severson, Kim. "The Chef: Ken Smith; Slices of a Southern Summer", The New York Times, Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
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