There is not anything a whole lot better than fried green tomatoes….if they are done right! But, that’s the problem. Not all fried green tomatoes are created equal. It really is an atrocity! It really is not difficult to make perfect fried green tomatoes if you just follow a few basic rules.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 1 hr (mostly wait time, active prep is less than 10 minutes); Cook Time – 5 mins per batch
4 green tomatoes
Vegetable Oil (enough to cover about 1/2 inch deep in your skillet)
1 1/2 cup White Lilly Buttermilk Corn Meal Mix (this is important, I’ve tried others, this really is the best)
Servings: You can generally count on 2 slices per person and 4 slices per tomato (thus 2 servings per tomato). However, if you are inviting me over for dinner, count on a couple of tomatoes just for me!!!!
Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:
Like most anything fried, it really will taste so much better in a Made in America true cast iron skillet from Lodge!
You will also need a wire rack to allow the tomatoes to drain without getting soggy
Slice the tomatoes about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Salt and pepper the tomatoes.
Let rest for about 30 minutes. This is the first important key to perfect fried green tomatoes. Salting the tomatoes and letting them sit allows their own natural juices to come out. This is important to (a) provide moisture for the corn meal mix to adhere to and (b) to remove extra liquid from the tomatoes prior to cooking.
After they have rested, add them to a zip top bag and add half the corn meal mix. Zip it up and gently shake until well coated. Add the rest of the corn meal mix and shake again.
When all are coated, place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until you are ready to fry them up. This will help the mix adhere to the tomatoes and not fall off after cooking.
Add enough vegetable oil to your skillet to be about 1/2 inch deep. Turn on medium-high heat. Now a lot of recipes tell you to start cooking when the oil gets a certain temperature. I never take the temperature of my oil. Exact measurement of temperature is for candy making and I don’t make candy for that exact reason! The easy test is to take a pinch of the corn meal mix and drop it in the skillet. If it quickly but gently bubbles around it, then the oil is hot enough.
The tomatoes will only need about 2 – 3 minutes per side and should only be flipped once. You’ll know when they are ready to be flipped when you see a bit of the golden brown coming up the side of the tomato.
When the tomatoes are done, remove from the oil and place on a wire rack set over a paper towels to allow them to drain. This is another important key to keep the tomatoes crunchy. A lot of people will let them drain by setting them directly on the paper towels. When you do that, the underside will get soggy. It is also important to lightly salt them immediately after they come out of the oil.
Repeat for the remaining tomatoes and serve immediately!
7 Important Tips to Perfectly Fried Green Tomatoes:
1. Pick firm green tomatoes
2. Use the White Lilly cornmeal mix
3. Salt the tomatoes and let them rest
4. Refrigerate after coating and before cooking
5. Make sure the oil is hot enough before frying
6. Let drain on a wire rack
7. Lightly salt when removed from oil
Follow these simple steps and your fried green tomatoes will be perfect too!