Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

When I was a kid, I loved the movie Fried Green Tomatoes with Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. I loved the themes of fiercely loyal friendship and good food, and how the character that Bates played transformed from a timid housewife to a roaringly confident woman by the end of the movie. But most of all, I loved the greasy brown paper bag of fried green tomatoes brought to a sick friend in a hospital room as the ultimate offer of comfort.

I've always wanted to be able to fry up the perfect slice of green tomato, but good green tomatoes are surprisingly hard to come by, so my attempts have been few and far between. When I happened to stroll past the tiny little farmers' market that sets up shop on Water Street down in the Financial District where I live, and saw a pile of gorgeous, deep green tomatoes, I scooped them up, and retreated to my apartment to experiment with my frying. This recipe was my favorite rendition--the tomatoes come out crisp as a french fry and unbelievably tasty. xo

Fried Green Tomatoes
Adapted from Cookie magazine, June 2008
4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika or pimentó
2 eggs
Canola oil 

Sprinkle the tomato slices with the salt and pepper; set aside. Combine the cornmeal and paprika in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs.

Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.

Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.