Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunshine Tomatoes

Did you ever catch that movie Fried Green Tomatoes? It's a favorite of mine.  While living in the U.K., it was my introduction to the South, and to the concept of eating unripe tomatoes.  At the time, I loved the movie, especially the part when Kathy Bates wreaks her revenge in the car park.  Having watched the movie, I decided that I just had to visit the South at some point -- but I certainly wasn't wowed by the idea of consuming a hard green tomato.

Until I tried them in New Orleans last month that is.  And then I understood their magic.

Two weeks ago I came across some gi-normous green tomatoes at the Market and decided to give it a go.

I guessed it would be simple, but had no idea just how easy it was and - compared to my traumatic experience when faced with a sinkful of collard greens to feed ten for dinner - I think the tomatoes were way more impressive.  (In terms of the "effort in" and "praise earned" from dinner guests ratio, which is my modus operandi)

This recipe is simple but spectacular, honest

1 cup of buttermilk
2-3 heaped tablespoons of flour
seasoning (salt and pepper, maybe a sprinkling of Paprika...I added Beck's Cajun Devil Dust to spice it up and give it some zing, you may have other favorite spices in your pantry.)
As many tomatoes as you can handle; simply increase the proportions of buttermilk and flour in relation to the quantity of tomatoes you plan to consume)
Oil for frying - I like to use a combination of olive oil and butter

Slice tomatoes, not too thinly.  Lay on flat surface and sprinkle with salt (much like preparing eggplant prior to frying the goal is to draw water out of this veggie).  Leave to sit for 5 minutes.  Combine flour and seasonings in a bowl.  Pour buttermilk in a bowl.  Dip tomatoes first in buttermilk, next toss buttermilk covered tomatoes in the flour mix and coat thoroughly.  Heat oil in frypan, fry for as long as it takes - basically until the hard green tomatoes soften in the pan and the flour/buttermilk turns into a crispy crumb coating for the tomatoes. 

I served the tomatoes with roasted salmon and a salad.  I also used my leftovers for breakfast the next day.

Sooooo easy.

The Beck's Devil Dust gave the crust of the tomatoes a rich bright color

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