My tomato plants. They are crazy. Out of control crazy. They’ve actually gotten so big and viney that they seem to have stopped producing as much fruit as they were before. So since I’d rather have fruit than lots of vines, I decided to cut the plants back. I was minding my own business, snipping shooters here, a rogue branch there. I started daydreaming and stopped paying attention and suddenly I realized I had hacked off a vine with three huge, beautiful– but still green– tomatoes attached. Aww, shucks!
I was bummed out for a minute or two, but then thought… hey! Green tomatoes! I can fry those!
Did you know “green tomatoes” are just un-ripe regular tomatoes? If you did then you are smarter than me. I didn’t learn that lovely little tidbit until I lived in Mississippi, land of fried green tomatoes (and fried everything, really). I thought green tomatoes were a different type of tomato… some sort of tomato-tomatillo hybrid or something. Nope. They’re just un-ripe tomatoes.
And they are DELICIOUS when you cover them in cornmeal and fry them up Southern-style! Especially if you top them with a delicious sauce.
One of the restaurants we frequented when we lived in Mississippi served fried green tomatoes with a creamy shrimp sauce that was out of this world. Thinking about that, I decided to top mine with a similar shrimp and crawfish etouffee. You don’t get much more Southern than that!
I don’t fry things often, so I was so pleased with how perfectly these little babies came out. Perfectly crisp on the outside and warm and tender on the inside.
Since we are getting a little sick of red tomatoes these days, this ended up being an awesome way to use up some of our bounty. The only other way I’ve ever eaten green tomatoes is pickled… so now of course I have visions of pickling some. I’m hoping all my pruning helps my plants to start producing some more!
Below is the Fried Green Tomato recipe. Check out the Crawfish Etouffee recipe here. To top the tomatoes, I substituted half the crawfish with shrimp.
- 1 cup flour, divided
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tsp pepper
- 5-6 large green tomatoes, sliced about ⅓-inch thick
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Set up an assembly line with three wide, shallow bowls. Fill the first bowl with half the flour. In the second bowl, combine the eggs and buttermilk. In the third bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, pepper and remaining flour.
- Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and let them sit on paper towels or a baking rack to drain excess moisture, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat about ½ an inch of oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high to high heat. When oil is hot (ideally 375 degrees, but I guesstimate-- not sizzling, turn it up; browning too fast/burning, turn it down), dip the tomato slices in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the cornmeal mixture. Coat thoroughly, then carefully lay them in the pan. Fry about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, preferably covered in etouffee!