Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

I'm a little (ok, a LOT) jealous of my parents' garden right now. My beautiful Abe Lincoln and German Johnson tomato plants, lovingly purchased from the recent Birmingham Botanical Gardens' Spring Sale, WERE doing wonderfully. Growing taller by the day, putting out dozens of little yellow flowers, and then the aphids came. 

I tried to love my planet and be all natural - I doused the nasty little things in insecticidal soap. I tried remedies online involving herbs and tobacco juice and just about anything else I could find. Nothing worked. My tomatoes wilted. Leaves turned brown. Blooms dried up and fell off. 

Needless to say, my last garden center visit ended with me bringing home a giant canister of Sevin Dust. Sorry, Mother Earth. I almost had a Towanda moment on the aphids as I triumphantly scattered the dust over the plants and (oops) my bare feet. 

Anyway, my parents' garden is looking SPECTACULAR. The tomato plants are healthy and lush (Dad attributes a lot of this to Alabama's own Bonnie fertilizer, and, yes, I bought some when I went on the Sevin Dust quest). They've got tomatoes, lots of them, but they're still green. There's peppers and tons of cucumbers, too. Meanwhile, I've got a few peppers, but, sadly, no tomatoes. My parents' garden is DEFINITELY beating mine right now.

I took some of their best looking green tomatoes with only one thing in mind: Fried. Green. Tomatoes. 

Alabamians know all about Fried Green Tomatoes. And the Whistle Stop Cafe (which is actually the Irondale Cafe). And Fannie Flagg. So, needless to say, we know how to cook 'em, too :)

Fried Green Tomatoes
adapted from Table for Two

3-4 green tomatoes, sliced into thick (3/4" - 1" slices)
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
Pinch of cayenne
4 cups vegetable or peanut oil

Combine the buttermilk and eggs in a shallow dish (like a pie plate).

In another shallow dish, combine the Italian breadcrumbs, panko, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Dip a tomato slice in the buttermilk mixture, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the tomato slices are breaded.

Pour oil to a depth of about 1/2" in a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet. Heat to 360° over medium to medium-high heat. 

Fry the tomatoes in small batches, taking care not to crowd the pan and drop the oil temperature, for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. 

Drain on a cooling rack above a baking sheet (I just set the rack atop the same sheet I used to stage all of the breaded tomato slices). Serve hot. 


  1. FYI you can guy the batter mix at the store, Whistlestop FGT mix & it's good IMHO. You will be supporting local industry & Bill, the owner of Whistlestop Products is a legit nice guy.

    1. Y'know - I've seen the mix at the Western over off of Rocky Ridge and I've considered buying it, but wasn't sure if it was any good. I'll definitely have to try it now! Thanks, Cam!

  2. Tomatoes looks super tasty. Will try this soon.

  3. omgggg, i cannot believe you quoted "fried green tomatoes," hahaha!! so awesome! :)