Tag Archive for Fried

Fried Vegetables – Tempura Style

fried zucchini

I love my fresh, steamed vegetables, but as a good Southern Belle, I love them fried too!! What’s not to love really?!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 8-30 min (depends on quantity, about 8 min per batch)

Ingredients:

1 zucchini, sliced

2 squash, sliced

10 mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1 package tempura mix (I used McCormick Tempura Batter)

Water

Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper

Dipping sauce. I used homemade spicy aioli.

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large cast iron skillet

Making Fried Vegetables – Tempura Style:

tempura vegetables
Prepare the vegetables by salting and peppering them.

tempura batter

While they rest a minute to bring out some of the water from the veggies, add a few inches of oil to your cast iron skillet. Turn it to medium high heat. Test the temperature by dripping a bit of batter into the skillet. When it floats and sizzles, it should be hot enough.

Make the batter according to the package directions. Just be sure the water you add is COLD. When the batter is ready, use a paper towel to remove some of the moisture that has been released from the vegetables. Working in small batches, add as many pieces of vegetables into the batter as will fit in your skillet without crowding.

tempura fried vegetables

One by one, let excess batter drip off of vegetables and add them to your skillet. Set into the skillet, dropping the vegetables away from you so oil does not splash towards you. They will sink to the bottom and then float back up. Repeat until your skillet is full but not crowded.

fried vegetables

Flip them over after about 4-5 minutes per side. Then remove to a wire rack over paper towels for them to drain but stay crispy. Salt them immediately after they come out of the skillet. Repeat for remaining vegetables.

tempura vegetables

Serve them with your dipping sauce either as an appetizer or as part of your meal.
fried vegetables

fried squash

Fried Peppers with Goat Cheese

Ok, so I have way too many peppers this year. The jalapeno bush in my yard is going bonkers! So, I’m pickling a bunch of them with my quick pickle process, eating them raw, and adding them to other dishes. But, then I decided, fried peppers with goat cheese would be a good idea too! Why not?

fried jalepenos

I had a bunch of little ones, so I chopped off the top, and scooped out the ribs and seeds.

Then I:

stuffed in a bit of goat cheese,

dunked them in an egg wash (beaten egg and water),

rolled them in corn meal,

fried them in a bit of vegetable oil until brown,

served them with some of that Skotidakis Greek Yogurt dip, and

enjoyed!!

fried jalapenos

I have also served these on top of a salad as my ‘crouton’ and that was delicious too!!

Let me know if you need me to take any peppers off your hands! – Denise

Fried green tomato napoleon with goat cheese, basil and balsamic reduction

what to do with fried green tomatoes

Ok, so we’ve already covered the fact that I adore fried green tomatoes. When they started to get popular on restaurant menus about 10 or so years ago, I remember ordering an appetizer of one that was served with goat cheese, pickled onions, basil, roasted corn and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. At the time, I thought it was one of the best things I had ever eaten. Here is my version, simplified slightly. 1. Follow the steps on how to make fried green tomatoes to perfection in one of our previous posts! 2. While the tomatoes are resting after being salted, you can start your balsamic reduction so it has time to cool prior to plating the dish. 3. Once you have your tomatoes and your balsamic reduction, add a tomato to a plate, add some fresh basil leaves and a chunk of goat cheese.Fried green tomato napoleon with goat cheese, basil and balsamic reduction 4. Repeat with another tomato, more basil and more goat cheese. 5. Top with another slice of goat cheese and a little more basil. 6. Drizzle the top and around the edges with the balsamic reduction.

Fried green tomato napoleon with goat cheese, basil and balsamic reduction

Pictured here with a fried jalepeno too, why not!?

What to make with leftover mashed potatoes – Potato Fritters

Mashed potatoes are divine and although there are rarely any leftover mashed potatoes in my house, I occasionally make more than we can eat.

One day when thinking about something different to do with the leftover mashed potatoes, I tried this.

How to make potato fritters with leftover mashed potatoes

Place the mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl (about 2 cups). Add about 1 cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese and a beaten egg. Mix together well. Place about 1/2 cup each of panko and Italian style bread crumbs on  a plate. Roll the potatoes into a ball and rolled into the bread crumbs. Repeat for all the potatoes.potato fritter recipe

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the potato fritters and brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and then serve with whatever other leftovers you might have.

Yum!

Fried potato balls

 

Check out our previous post on how to make mashed potatoes lump-free every time.

How to make perfect fried green tomatoes

how to cook green tomatoes

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

Ingredients:

4 green tomatoes
Salt
Pepper
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

Preparation:

Slice the tomatoes about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Salt and pepper the tomatoes.

fried green 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.

how to make fried green tomatoes

Notice all the natural juices

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.

making fried green tomatoes

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.

how to make fried green tomatoes

 

how to cook green tomatoes

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.

how to fry green tomatoes

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!

 

Crispy Fried Okra

Crispy fried okra

If you are a true Southerner like me, then you have the ‘nack’ to identify really good fried okra. I ADORE fried okra. It’s fantastic all by itself and one of my more modern ways to enjoy it is on top of a Caesar salad. However, if you are a fried okra connoisseur, you know that the real key is crispiness. Soggy fried okra would have been better off stewed!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 10 min per batch

Ingredients:

Fresh, whole okra
Corn meal mix (I prefer White Lilly)
Salt and pepper
Vegetable Oil

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Cast Iron Skillet
Spider spatula

Preparing Crispy Fried Okra:

Wash okra and cut into equal sized slices about 1/4 inch thick. The first key is to have them equal sized and not too thin. Once they are all cut, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place in a plastic bag and add about 1 1/2 cups of the corn meal mix.

How to make fried okra

Breaded Okra

Close tight and toss to coat. Put the bag back in the fridge for about 10 – 30 minutes to help set. When ready to fry the okra, place about 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil in the skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Take the okra out of the fridge. Place one piece in the skillet to test heat. When the oil sizzles around it, it should be ready to add more. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry about 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Crispy fried okra

Okra frying up

Flip the best you can and continue for another 4 minutes.

Crispy fried okra

Close to ready

When done, remove from heat, drain on paper towel and immediately salt when removed from oil.  Repeat with remaining okra.

Important Tips:

Oil needs to be hot, don’t overcrowd the pan, salt when you remove from oil to allow some salt to stick.