Monday, July 11, 2011
Mamaw Shirley's Fried Green Tomatoes
I hope all of you had a great weekend! These past few weeks, I've had some time well spent with some of the dearest friends of all. Visiting with all these precious people made me decide to blog on one of their favorite recipes. My Mamaw Shirley is a woman very dear to my heart. She is my uncle’s mother and has been a precious “grandmother” to me through the years. Quite the cook, among other things, she can make any southern dish from casseroles to cakes. And dare you ask me if she ever glances at a cookbook. Her precision and attention to detail inspire me to work extremely hard on perfecting my cooking skills. I mean if the woman can make yeast rolls from scratch without a recipe, I’ve still got a long way to go! I visited her the other day and as always, we conversed about cooking. I asked her the best way to make crisp fried green tomatoes. As many of you know, it is always fun to speak with older women about their cooking habits. Many can recite entire recipes down to the exact measurements. I love it. So, as simply as she shared this recipe with me, I will pass it on to you. I tried to modify the measurements as close to correct as possible; however, as I’ve mentioned before, I rarely cook with recipes. I know this is detailed but, I want to make extra sure that everyone knows exactly what to do! This is a really easy dish that can be made into an appetizer, entree, or side dish. Just experiment and have fun with it. Remember, it would do us all a dose of good to honor our “Mamaw Shirley” in the kitchen. Enjoy!
1.) Two Green tomatoes sliced thin (I had a red one that was very ripe so I fried it, too)
2.) 1 cup All Purpose Flour
3.) 1 cup Low-fat Buttermilk
4.) ½ to 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt (depending on your taste)
5.) ½ to 1 tbsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper (depending on your taste)
6.) Vegetable Oil for a fryer or cast iron skillet (heated to 375 if in a fryer)
7.) Optional Toppings: Feta, Chives, Ranch, Bleu Cheese, Spicy Ranch
1.) The amount of oil you use depends on your cooking method. If you use a fryer, you need enough oil to cover the tomatoes completely. If you use a skillet, you need enough to coat the pan liberally. Heat your oil accordingly, usually on medium high. A good way to test if oil is hot enough is to drop a small clump of batter into the oil and if it bubbles, it is ready.
2.) Cut all tomatoes thinly before dredging and allow to “dry” somewhat on a paper towel for a few minutes. This will help the batter adhere to the tomatoes.
3.) Pour the buttermilk into a cereal bowl.
4.) Pour the flour onto a dinner plate. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in salt and pepper. Mix salt, pepper, and flour together with fingers or fork.
5.) Arrange the following items in this order: sliced tomatoes, buttermilk, flour, extra plate, fryer, extra plate with paper towels. Use your left hand to pick up tomato slice and drop it in the buttermilk. Coat it well on both sides. Pick up the tomato with your left hand and drop it into the flour. Using your right hand, press flour onto the tomato to coat. Use your right hand to pick up tomato, shake of excess flour, and drop tomatoes onto the clean plate. Having a wet and dry hand will make battering the tomatoes much easier, I promise. Continue these steps until all tomatoes are battered. You can drop some into the oil and allow them to cook while you finish battering the others for an easy time saver.
6.) Cook all tomatoes to a crispy golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with desired toppings listed above.