Tuesday, September 7, 2010

137. Fried Green Tomatoes, Movie Food

Whether you think of them as a fruit or a vegetable is of no real importance...tomatoes are a wonderful food. They are beautiful to see growing and when the first one of the season slowly changes from green to a vibrant red, the wait for the perfect picking moment is almost like torture.
A short time later, however, the bulk of everyone's tomato crop ripens. People who have planted enough for canning are very busy in their summer kitchens and sometimes neighbors will share their over-abundance with those who have none.

In the last twenty years or so, heirloom plants, including tomatoes, have regained popularity. While some say the heirloom flavors are more varied and true, the real key for tomato flavor, at least in all my years of gardening experience, is the type of soil in which they are grown. A loose, soil with the right nutrients, strategic watering and a keen eye for garden pests and possible molds will definitely increase the likelyhood of a great tomato crop.

If you grow your own tomatoes, there will probably be an abundance of green ones toward the end of the season that are actually more tasty fried than if you try to ripen them indoors. I knew nothing about frying tomatoes until the movie Fried Green Tomatoes aired and piqued my interest.

While there are many recipes for fried green tomatoes, I have found  that the more simple they are, the better. Today's post is not only easy, it tastes wonderful. Make sure your green tomatoes are firm.
The Panko bread crumbs are a wonderful addition to this dish. They fry up light and crisp and their flavor is not heavy. I bought the crumbs at an oriental grocery store or look for them in the oriental food section of most larger grocery or specialty stores.

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 large green tomato (makes 5 slices)
Olive Oil
Four small containers or bowls
1/4 C Flour
Egg, slightly beaten
Panko bread crumbs
Weber Roasted Garlic seasoning (you may use a seasoning of your choice)

Slice tomato in 1/4-inch rounds. Salt lightly. Put the following in the four containers:

1. Milk (1/2-inch), 2. Flour, 3. beaten egg, 4. Panko crumbs sprinkled with Weber Roasted Garlic seasoning, (or another seasoning of your choice).

Dip each tomato slice in milk, next dredge in flour, then dip in egg and finally, coat both sides with Panko crumbs; set slice aside and continue with remaining slices.

Heat a large pan med-high. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (this is not deep frying). When oil is hot, place tomato rounds in pan. Fry tomatoes on each side until golden. Remove browned slices to a paper towel to drain slightly. Serve immediately.

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