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Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

| February 13, 2012 | 17 Comments

Fried Green Tomatoes

Long before the movie made them famous everywhere, Fried Green Tomatoes were already famous in the South.  This quick and easy dish is great as an appetizer, snack, or as a side to your main meal.  And, if the “secret is in the sauce,” we’ve got a quick and easy dipping sauce that makes them that much better.

I’ve tried Fried Green Tomatoes before, but I declare these turned out to be the very BEST I’ve ever had.  The last time I cooked some, they were just a bit too tart for my personal liking.  I really think it was because I rushed through them and didn’t give them time to fully cook.  I also didn’t add one of mama’s favorite ingredients, a little sugar.  Mama added sugar to just about all the vegetables she ever cooked.

I had tried for weeks to do this recipe.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but I bought green tomatoes about 3 different times with the full intentions of doing this, but it never happened.  My tomatoes would start to ripen before I could get around to it, or they would just turn ruby red all together.  Perhaps I just had to be in the right mood to do them.  I don’t know why it took so long, but it was certainly worth the wait.  These turned out fabulous.

And, if you’re like me, they will get you thinking about the movie by the same name.  Is the “secret REALLY in the sauce?”  I’ve got my own version of a dipping sauce for these that you might want to try.  So, if you’re ready…Let’s Get Cooking!

 

Ingredients you'll need to make fried green tomatoes.
Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
:  Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.

You want to use tomatoes without any pink or red color to them.  If they have started to change colors, they’re beginning to ripen.  Look for really firm, green, tomatoes for the best results.  They have a somewhat tart flavor but we’ll tame that down a little with this recipe.

 

Slice the green tomatoes.
Wash your tomatoes well before slicing.  Place them on a cutting board, slice off both ends and discard.  Slice the remaining tomato into thick slices.  About 1/4 inch thick will work well.

 

Sliced green tomatoes on a wire rack.
Place the sliced green tomatoes on a wire rack over a layer of paper towels to let them drain.

 

Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt.
Sprinkle salt over all of the tomatoes.  Don’t get carried away, but do sprinkle generously.  The salt will help pull water out of the tomatoes which will aid in the frying process.  Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Prepare the dredge.
While you’re waiting on the tomatoes, go ahead and start setting up your station for the dredging process.  You’ll need 3 containers for the following ingredients.  I like to use these leftover trays from my Chinese Food takeouts.  They’re plastic, have clear tops, and I just can’t seem to throw them away.  Turns out, they work great for a quick and easy dredging station.

You’ll need about 1 cup of flour.  I used self-rising but all-purpose will probably work just as well.

 

Prepare the buttermild for the dredge.
Pour 1 cup of buttermilk into another container.

 

Prepare the cornmeal for the dredge process.
Then, pour 1 cup of Yellow Corn Meal into the third container.  Spread it out evenly.

 

Pat tomatoes to remove moisture from the top.
After 15 minutes, gently pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel to remove excess water from the top.

 

Water has dripped from the tomatoes.
The tomatoes will drip a lot of their moisture onto the paper towel.  Adding the salt helped to pull moisture out of the tomatoes.

 

Fried green tomato dredging station.
Line up your dredging station for an assembly line type production.  We’re going to dip each slice into each portion of the dredge process, then place them back on the wire rack to rest a little more.

 

Green tomatoes on a wire rack.
First though, let’s season them up for some added flavor.  I prefer to season my tomatoes directly instead of adding it into the flour or cornmeal.  I think it gives you better control on how much you’re using.  Also, seasonings have a tendency to burn as the breading cooks, which could give it a somewhat off taste.  I learned that from the Food Network so it must be true right?  They certainly turned out great as far as I’m concerned.

 

Sprinkle the green tomatoes with black pepper.
Lay the tomato slices out on the wire rack and sprinkle each slice with Black Pepper.

 

Sprinkle the green tomatoes with salt.
Next, sprinkle each slice with a little more salt.  We wiped most of it off in the steps above so a little more now isn’t going to hurt unless you’re really watching your sodium intake.  Remember, it’s all to the taste, based on what you and your family like.  Adjust accordingly.

 

Sprinkle the green tomatoes with a little sugar.
And for the best part….sprinkle each slice with a little sugar.  Mama added a little sugar to just about everything she cooked so I come by it naturally I suppose.

 

Add seasonings to both sides of the green tomatoes.
We want to season them on both sides, so flip them over and repeat the whole process again.  Salt, Sugar, Black Pepper.  You can thank me later. (Smile)

 

Dredge the green tomato slice in flour first.
Ready to start the dredge process?  Place a slice in the flour.  I’d suggest that you might want to sift the flour or perhaps do a better job than I’ve done here by using a fork to break up some of the lumps of flour.  The lumps aren’t going to stick very well so err on the better side and break it up some.

 

Flip the tomato slice and coat the other side with flour as well.
Using a fork, or your fingers, flip the tomato over and coat the backside.  If using your fingers, remember to use one hand for dry ingredients and the other hand for wet ingredients.  It will keep you from getting a paste buildup all over your hands.  It works….if you don’t slip up and grab something with the opposite hand.  Try it.  The tomatoes are naturally moist so the water from them will help the flour to adhere to them.

 

Gently shake off the excess flour.
Gently shake off any excess flour.  Note that the flour will stick easily to the wet sides, but not so much to the outside skin of the tomato.  That’s not a problem; we’ll get it in just a minute.

 

Gently place the green tomato slice in the buttermilk dredge.
Lay the slice into the container of buttermilk.

 

Gently flip the tomato slice over in the buttermilk.
Using the properly designated hand…or your fork….flip the tomato slice over to coat the other side.

 

Gently shake off any excess buttermilk.
Gently shake off any excess buttermilk as you lift the slice up.

 

Place the green tomato slice in the cornmeal.
Lay the slice in the cornmeal.  Use your fork to gently toss the cornmeal over the tomato.  Coat it good all over.

Flip the slice over and do the same to the other side.  Shake it gently as you lift it up and place it back on the wire rack.

 

Place the coated green tomato slices back on the wire rack.
Dredge the other slices using the same steps until you have all the slices coated.  You have to handle them gently so the coating doesn’t fall off but you can do that.  Once you get them all on the wire rack, just let them sit for about 10 minutes longer.  This will help keep the coating on even better.

 

Warming up the cast iron skillet.
Now is the time to start warming up that cast iron skillet.  I hope you have one, but if you don’t, a regular frying pan will work.  This one belonged to my mama and I hadn’t used it until we started up this Taste of Southern website.  It needs a little maintenance, but I can’t bring myself around to removing any of its history.  If only it could talk.

 

Adding oil to the cast iron skillet.
As the skillet begins to warm up, add in enough oil to fill the pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch or so.  I’m using vegetable oil.  I started out with a cold burner and turned it up to just about one notch above medium heat.  As you begin to fry and cook, you learn what the best settings are for your particular stove.  They will vary, one stove to the next, so learn what works best for you.  Let the oil heat up with the pan.

 

Add a little butter to the oil in the skillet.
I also added about one tablespoon of Butter to the oil.  This will not only give it some added flavor, it will also help add some color to the browning process.

From my experience in working at the seafood restaurant, new oil has to become a little used before it starts adding a pretty brown color to the food.  Most seafood houses here in the south will “cut” their new shortenings with some of the old oil when changing out a fryer.  If you’re a pretty busy restaurant, you have to change the oil frequently or it will start burning and giving a bad taste to your food.  We would drain out all the old oil, clean out the bottom of the fryer, then refill it with a little of the old oil after running it through a filter.  Then, we’d finish filling it up with new oil…or in our case at the restaurant…with genuine lard.  Wait….I’m having flashbacks….let’s move on.

 

Add the coated tomato slices to the hot oil in the skillet.
Once you’ve reached proper frying temperature, carefully place each slice into the hot oil.  Don’t try to cook too many slices at one time.  They need some breathing room and you’ll find it much easier to work with them if the pan isn’t overloaded.  If the sides are touching, they will stick together, so give them some space.

TOS Tip:  Here’s an old trick you might want to try to determine that you’ve reached proper temperature for frying.  As the oil heats up, drop in just about 2 drops of water.  When the oil starts to get hot enough, the water droplets will start “talking” to you by popping.  When this happens, you’ve reached the point of frying ability.  Some folks also sprinkle just a little of the cornmeal into the pan, if it sizzles and dances around a bit, you’re ready to start frying.  Of course the best thing is a thermometer if you have one of those.  Just don’t get it too hot or the breading will burn before the tomatoes start to cook enough.

 

Green tomato slices frying in the cast iron skillet.
Never leave your frying pan unattended.  And, if you have little ones in the house, keep them away from the stove at this time.  I know they are curious, but grease gets extremely hot and pops a lot.  It hurts!!!  Always use caution anytime you’re cooking and baking.  This friendly public service announcement has been brought to you by Taste of Southern…home of great southern cooking.

Seriously though, watch the pan as close as possible at all times.  Make sure the pan isn’t frying too fast and watch for the bottom edges of the tomatoes to begin turning brown.  You want to turn them over before they burn, but not before they brown on the bottom side.  I’ve got slight bubbles coming up around the slices as you can see, and the oil is up a little over half way of the thickness of each slice.

 

Green tomatoes starting to brown in the cast iron skillet.
Once I notice the bottom edges beginning to brown, I use a fork to gently lift a slice up to keep an eye on the browning process.  The pan will have its hot spots, usually around the center, so watch it carefully.

 

Turn the green tomato slices over.  Frying both sides.
When you start to see a good brown color, gently flip each slice over.  A fork seems to work great for this.  A large spatula just doesn’t work for me and tongs could cause the breading to break and fall away.  Just a gentle flip with the fork is all you need.

 

Remove the tomatoes from the pan.  Turn off the heat.
When your slices are golden brown on both sides, remove them from the pan and turn the heat off.

 

Place the fried green tomatoes on a paper towel and let drain.
Place the slices on a couple of layers of paper towels and let them drain.  Hey, don’t they look good?

 

Fried Green Tomatoes ready to enjoy.
Maybe I was hungry by the time I finished, I don’t know, but these were without a doubt the best Fried Green Tomatoes I’ve ever had.  I couldn’t get this final picture fast enough before digging in to them.

If you’ve never had them, find yourself some green tomatoes and give this recipe a try.  It’s really easy and doesn’t take long at all.  One tomato will yield a good serving so figure accordingly based on whether it’s just an appetizer or a side dish for your meal.  Then, rent the “Fried Green Tomatoes” movie and enjoy that again as well.  Yep, I did just that myself a few days after I cooked these up.

Sauce:  I didn’t do an EXACT recipe for the sauce in the picture.  I just wanted a little something to dip them in and whipped up something real fast.  It’s basically a couple of Tablespoons of Duke’s Mayonnaise®, along with a few drops of Texas Pete Hot Sauce® and you’ll need a little relish of some sort.

I used one of mama’s “secret ingredients” which I really wish you could find in your local store, but it’s not available….yet.  I used “Granny Gordon’s Pickles.”  If I could, I’d take mama’s pickle recipe to market.  Who knows, we may be able to do so one day.  Mama’s sweet pickles were the BEST and she used the juice from them in a lot of her dishes.  I’ve made her pickles for the past couple of years and hope to add the recipe to our Taste of Southern site this year.  It takes about 3 weeks to make them but I happen to love them.  For this sauce, I just chopped up about one of the pickles and added about a teaspoon of the pickle juice to make my pink sauce.

If you have some sweet pickles, you can do the same or perhaps you have some pickle relish.  Experiment with what you have and let us know how it turns out.  Next time, I may try some sort of buttermilk ranch style dressing.  Either way….it want be long before I fry up another batch of these.  They were awesome, even if I must say so myself.  And, I just said it!

Enjoy!!!

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Yield: 3-4

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Long before the movie made them famous, Fried Green Tomatoes were already famous in the South. This quick and easy dish is great as an appetizer, snack, or as a side to your main meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 - Firm, Green Tomatoes, without any hints of pink or red in their coloring.
  • 1 - Cup of Flour
  • 1 - Cup of Buttermilk
  • 1 - Cup of Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 - teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1 - Tablespoon of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot Sauce
  • Sweet Pickles or Relish

Instructions

  1. Wash, rinse, and pat dry your tomatoes
  2. Slice off the ends of the tomato and discard.
  3. Slice each tomato in thick slices, about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  4. Place the slices on a wire rack over paper towels. Sprinkle with Salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  5. Setup your containers to dredge the tomato slices.
  6. Pour flour into one container, buttermilk into one and corn meal into another.
  7. After 15 minutes, use a paper towel and pat the liquid off the sliced up green tomatoes.
  8. Sprinkle both sides with Black Pepper, Salt, and a pinch or so of Sugar.
  9. Dredge each slice, one at a time, in each container. Gently remove any excess.
  10. Dredge in the Flour first.
  11. Dredge in the Buttermilk.
  12. Dredge in the Corn Meal.
  13. Set each slice back on the wire rack and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  14. Add Oil and 1 Tablespoon of Butter to skillet on medium heat.
  15. Fry until done on both sides, remove to a paper towel and let drain.
  16. Serve with our sauce or one of your favorites, like a ranch style dressing etc.
  17. Enjoy!!
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Your Comments:  I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and I hope they turn out as well for you as I think they did for me.  I look forward to hearing from you in the Comments section below.

Be Blessed!!!
Steve

 

 

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Category: Appetizers, Side Dishes

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Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (17)

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  1. Peggy says:

    Hi Steve,
    I make me fried green tomatoes the same way! Great pictures. I will be sending me friends to your site.

    For a sauce I use my California grandmother’s avacado sauce recipe. It is simply Dukes Mayo (or Miracle Whip}, dash of mustard, dash of lemon juice (fresh or bottled) and a little bit of sugar.

    Peggy

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Peggy, Thank you for your comments and your compliments on our recipe. I will greatly appreciate you sharing our site with your family and friends.

      I’ll have to try the Avocado Recipe you suggest. It sounds interesting even though I’m not a big fan of avocados. Just haven’t acquired a taste for them yet, but I keep trying.

      I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern, and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Arlene says:

    You have made my husband a very happy man. He picked all of the green tomatoes yesterday in anticipation of the coming frost, and asked if I could please make restaurant-style fried green tomatoes. I found your recipe and followed it pretty much exactly. I didn’t have buttermilk, so mixed some milk with sour cream and an egg. It worked. Yay!! A little ranch dressing, and we were both extremely pleased. We had fried green tomatoes for dinner last night. Yum!! Thank you so much!!
    I am wondering if I can batter these things up and after allowing the batter to set, instead of frying them, could I freeze them and fry them later? I guess I can try some today and see. Thank you, again!!

    • Arlene says:

      Okay – I battered them and let them rest, then put them in the freezer and froze them, took them out and fried them, and they were still great! Thank you so much!!

      • Steve Gordon says:

        Hi Arlene, That’s good news. I suspected they might be a bit watery once thawed but maybe not. Wonder if they will hold up as well several months from now. Do let me know if you get the chance to try it.

        Thanks again for your comments and please visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Arlene, I’m thankful you found the recipe and happy to know that you tried it and liked it. I have never tried to freeze any, but I see by another comment you have left that you DID and they turned out great. Learn something new everyday don’t we?

      We just had our first night below the freezing mark on Friday night. Ugh. You must be a bit further up north.

      Thank you for sharing your comments and results. I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Maria Luzzi says:

    Oh- sweet mama mia! This recipe was deelish!! My son prides himself making great fried green tomatoes, but I tried your recipe instead, and it came out so much more crunchier. We did use some bacon grease from the day before, and tomatoes picked fresh from our garden. I usually try to stay away from fried foods, but this was definitely an exception I don’t regret! Thanks for posting this! Great way to end the Labor Day celebration!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Maria, Thank you for your comments and thank you for trying our Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe. I’m really glad you liked them. Did your son get to try them? I’m thankful you found our site and I do hope you will try some of our other recipes. Please visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Missusmidas says:

    I’ve made Fried Green Tomatoes a few times and always used bacon grease. I fry up a whole pound of bacon, which I use in green beans the next day. I add a bit of vegetable oil to the bacon grease and fry my tomatoes in that, and WOW the flavor is amazing. Not healthy, but I only do it once a year so it can’t be too bad, right? :) Next time though I will try dipping the slices in buttermilk and letting them rest like you suggest. I was happy to finally try “real” fried green tomatoes in Virginia two years ago. Yummm. Thanks for the recipe!

    I haven’t looked at your entire site yet, but do you happen to have a recipe for fried dill pickle slices?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Missusmidas, Thank you for sharing your comments. I’m delighted that you’ve found our Internet home and hope you’ll take the time to look around and try more of our recipes. Bacon and Bacon grease just make about anything better don’t they? I’m sorry, I don’t have a recipe up for Fried Dill Pickle Slices but thank you for the suggestion, I’ll have to get to work on it. I really appreciate your visits and I do hope you will continue to visit us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. patricia says:

    I never really eaten fried green tomatoes before until I came across your receipe and I love them. I been making them your way each and every time I just wish I could remember it by heart but I find u on the internet every time I make them and my family loves them thank you so very much

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Patricia, Aren’t Fried Green Tomatoes good? I’m so glad you found us and I’m glad that you have tried and like the recipe. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments with me, I really appreciate it. Don’t worry about being able to make them by heart, it just gives you a good reason to come back and visit with us again. I hope you’ll continue to do so. My best to you and your family. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  6. Mondo says:

    Hey there!

    My friend and I made your Fried Green Tomatoes last night. Amazing! Your process seemed so labor-intensive, but it was worth it; and in the end it wasn’t that labor-intensive,after all. I just wanted to say thank you. Those were the crunchiest fried green tomatoes ever! That last step(resting)really made all the difference.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mondo, Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad that you gave the Fried Green Tomatoes a try. Aren’t they good? I’m glad you found out they were easy to make and that you jumped right in and gave them a try. Best of luck with your cookies. Your website looks great and the cookies look awesome. I hope it turns out to be a very successful adventure for you. Now, about that Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Wanna share? Ha! Please visit us again real soon. Thanks again. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  7. Jahnene says:

    Thank you so much for such a GREAT tutorial, especially the pics. It’s been years since I’ve had them, and I’m introducing fried green tomatoes to my “northern” in-laws this weekend. Wanted to do it right. I really appreciate all of the work you put into this!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jahnene, Thank you for visiting Taste of Southern and for your comments. I truly appreciate that. I do hope your in-laws enjoyed the recipe and I look forward to hearing what they might have thought about Fried Green Tomatoes. I hope you’ll visit us again some time real soon. Thanks again. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  8. Mongoose says:

    I liked your fried green tomatoes. Have tried them a time or two, looks good but I like the red ones too. Would it be the same thing for both of them just one green and one red be blessed ( have a good day THANKS

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