The paths between three of my raised beds were so overgrown with untamed tomato vines that I had to walk all around the perimeter to get into the garden. This puts me near the chicken yard which makes one squawky Australorp, the one who’s always eyeballing me, set up an opinionated rant.
I don’t know what it is about that one chicken, but she feels entitled. I guess I’ve trained her to be that way since I usually relent and go over there and give her something tasty from the garden, like an overripe cucumber or a bug-defiled tomato.
All of which is a long way to say that I pruned the tomato vines, opened up the paths in the garden, can now avoid the judgmental eye of That Chicken, and had several green tomatoes for a late-summer treat: Fried Green Tomatoes.
There are many variations, including using flour instead of cornmeal. That’s good, too. I prefer the crunch of cornmeal. I also use corn meal mix. I do this because my husband, a creature of habit, does the grocery shopping and somewhere along the line he got the idea I prefer mix to plain cornmeal and I’m fine with that. Ordinary cornmeal with a bit of salt would do just great as well. This is a guideline, adjust amounts depending on how many you intend to feed. Here’s how I do it:
Fried Green Tomatoes
sliced green tomatoes
corn meal mix
egg(s) and water
salt & pepper
vegetable oil of choice, canola or olive are both good
Wash and slice tomatoes about the same thickness you would for a platter of sliced tomatoes, not too thin and not too thick.
Lightly beat an egg and add about a tablespoon of water. Blend.
On a plate, mix a quantity of the cornmeal or cornmeal mix with a bit of extra salt and enough pepper to lightly fleck the meal. Use enough cornmeal to cover the plate to a thickness of about a half an inch.
Heat about a quarter of an inch of oil over medium heat until the corner of a tomato dipped in the oil sizzles enthusiastically but not, say, at an Elvis concert level. If it sounds like the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, turn it down a good notch. If the oil is smoking, that’s also too hot.
Dip the tomato slices in the egg and then in the cornmeal, turning to coat both sides.
Place in the oil and brown both sides. If you are making several successive batches, it’s a good idea to wipe out the skillet between batches to remove the excess cornmeal in the bottom of the pan which will burn and give a scorched flavor to the second batch. Slosh in fresh oil and let it heat to the right temperature before starting a new batch.
Drain on towels and enjoy hot. They just aren’t the same leftover.