fried green tomatoes

fried green tomatoes by the james kitchen
fried green tomatoes, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

A few weeks ago we finally made fried green tomatoes. Anyone growing up like me at the in Germany probably came across them fort he first time in the eponymus film. Since then they have grown into some sort of mythical creature of Southern soul food in my mind. But looking at the preparation, this is quite similar to the process of coating a piece of thin veal (Wiener Schnitzel) or fish in flour, egg & breadcrumbs. I know that, so we got on with it. These were fantastic and we do like a bit more spice than the original recipe, so I increased some spices and added the spanish hot smoked paprika. And I fiddled a bit with the dressing, making it a little lighter and reducing the amount of mayo. The creaminess suffered not really and at the same time it was a little bit more pourable (something you will appreciate when you are using up the leftovers on your lunch salad or to dip artichokes in, which is what I did).

Fried green tomatoes & jalapeno-buttermilk dressing

Adapted only slightly from the Homesick Texan cookbook – if you do not already own it, this is a definite wishlist item. We absolutely adore it and every thing we have cooked so far is a delight. Here I have changed the spices in the flour mixture and made a (little) lighter version of the dressing.

about 4 (larger) green tomatoes (Update: green = unripe tomatoes; grüne = unreife Tomaten)

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons pepper (I used white)
1 egg
½ cup of buttermilk
2 cups of cornmeal (I used german Maismehl, one could use polenta as well)
peanut oil for fryingSlice the tomatoes horizontally into 6 mm (¼ inch) thick slices. Combine the flour and spices in a plastic bag and add the tomato slices. Shake to to get them covered evenly in the spiced flour.

Beat the egg and buttermilk with a fork (my grandmothers always did it like this for anything that was then coated in breadcrumbs) and pour the mixture in a bowl or shallow dish. Prepare another dish with the cornmeal.

Dip the floured tomatoes in the egg mixture, then turn them in the cornmeal until totally covered. Best use one hand for the egg and the other solely for the flour part, otherwise you will find your hands coated in several layers of batter.

Heat about ¾ cm (½ inch) oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat until it reaches 175° C (350° F) or if you drop a small piece of bread in it, it starts to sizzle lightly and turns brown in about a minute. Fry the tomatoes for around 2 minutes on each side until they have turned golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Serve with the most delicious jalapeno-buttermilk dressing.

Jalapeno-buttermilk dressing

Adapted from the Homesick Texan cookbook and – as I said before – I only changed the amount of mayonnaise (half of the original recipe) and added cayenne. Still nothing one might call low-cal. Definitely excellent with Fish & Chips, too. It is divine and has nothing to do with anything labelled ranch dressing I have ever bought, so much better.

2 jalapeno chiles (seeds removed), chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup coriander (cilantro)
¼ cup broad leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon lime zest
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
salt & pepper & cayenne pepper

Blend everything except the sour cream and mayonnaise in a blender to a puree, decant into a bowl and add the sour cream and mayonnaise, season with salt, pepper & cayenne.


2 thoughts on “fried green tomatoes

  1. Hello,
    I know the movie (of course) and thank your for the recipe – I have to try it next summer!
    Is it made with green tomato meaning not ripe or is it tomatoes which are green when ripe?
    I often wondered …

    Grüße aus München

    • Hallo Renate,

      what a good plan, it is a fantastic way to use up green tomatoes and we are really talking about unripe tomatoes not the green heirloom varieties like Green Zebra etc. I have found out this year that my local Turkish grocer carries unripe tomatoes in the summer – what a treat. Might be easy to find in your lovely garden…
      Viele Grüße aus Frankfurt, Nicole
      P.S.: Ich koche morgen das tolle schwarze Rettichgemüse, habe heute einen schönen auf dem Markt gekauft.

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