Mama's Fried Green Tomatoes
Even after Daddy stopped planting a garden, Mama always grew a few tomato plants in the summer. We could hardly wait until the first fruits got big enough to pick green for a dinner of fried green tomatoes. That's right, sometimes that was all we had for dinner - fried green tomatoes. We southerners love our deep fried food, whether it be vegetable or meat. My Mama did "fried" better than anyone I know.
The first secret to her fried green tomatoes was to use old-fashioned variety tomatoes that are acidic. The newer hybrid, low acid tomatoes are not as good to fry, or eat in any form in my opinion. Pick the tomatoes when they are turning light green, not pink. Choose tomatoes about 3-4 inches across and slice them ¼ inch thick.
Dip the slices in scrambled eggs and coat them in salted and peppered flour. Place the breaded slices on a platter and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. If Mama was planning to cook them for lunch she prepared them in the morning, or for supper she prepared them in the afternoon. This allows the flour to mix with the egg and juices from the tomatoes, melding the flavors and making the coating batter-like.
To cook: heat oil in a frying pan until when you drop in a drop of water it sizzles. Drop in tomato slices - don't crowd them - and cook until golden brown. Turn the slices over and cook the other side until golden brown.
Take the fried tomato slices out of the pan and drain them on a brown paper bag or paper towels. Stack on a clean platter and serve while hot.
This same recipe can be used to fry summer squash and Mama often served them both at the same meal.
Mama used this same roll-in-the-flour method for frying chicken and oysters. The secret is the rest time in the refrigerator that turns the flour mixture into a batter. She rolled fish in cornmeal, but also gave it time in the fridge before frying.
Besides letting the batter form while resting, the work was done ahead, and the mess cleaned up before it was time to cook. In fact Mama had the salad made, and the potatoes peeled, sliced, and waiting in a bowl of water all long before it was time to cook. She made it seem like cooking was a breeze, when in fact she'd done most of the work ahead when no one was looking.
Fried Green Tomatoes and Squash
- Paula Deen Don't Make Fried Green Tomatoes Good As Mama
My daughter is a big Paula Deen fan and when I planned my vacation to come to visit her in Bluffton, South Carolina I told her I wanted to see the sights. The first thing she suggested was, "Let's eat at Paula...