Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Daring Cook's Challenge (August) - Fried Green Tomatoes

I have a food bucket list. Now, don't laugh...

There is a whole world of amazing smells, spices and seasonings and I have a list of items I just must try to eat or make sometime in my lifetime. A few years ago at the top of my list was baking and decorating a cake from scratch. That one is crossed off.

I spent a lot of time reading growing up. I was an only child and encouraged to explore my world through books. I remember reading about foods and descriptions of flavors and smells and to this day want to recreate some of them. One such food was fried green tomatoes. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg left it's impression. I may not be Southern, and fried foods are not in my blood, but I wanted to try my hand at these little fried treats.
Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!
Cornmeal? Now, I have made tortillas, grew up on cornmeal mush, love corn bread, but have never used cornmeal for breading anything.

Right now the tomato plants are bursting with ripe, red fruit... but when this challenge was announced there was an abundance of green tomatoes so it seemed only natural to try the recipe. I can't say I have ever looked twice at a green tomato...

Crunchy like an apple, tart but still a little juicy I wonder who first decided to fry them.

Dancing around and browning in my cast iron skillet they still didn't look like much.

I have tried my share of fried veggies, from regular flour and egg wash to the light tempura coating, but I loved the crunch found on these tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

You Will Need:

  • large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/2 c. milk & spoonful of Greek yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 c. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 
  • medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Combine egg, milk and yogurt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan.
  3. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, then dredge in cornmeal mixture.
  4. Preheat a cast-iron skillet with 1/2 inch oil. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.
  5. Enjoy!

Not a bad dish, but a good book would have made the experience even better.That is one more dish I can cross off my bucket list. What is on yours?
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