Fried Green Tomatoes are Southern Comfort – Alabama

When you travel through the Heart of Dixie, as the state of Alabama is known, you’ll undoubtedly see fried green tomatoes listed as either a main course or a side dish on menus in dining establishments ranging from humble meat-and-three roadside diners to more upscale sit-down spots. The association between the dish and the state harks back to the 1991 movie of the

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same name, set around the fictional Whistle Stop Café near Birmingham. Truth be told, we can’t actually say if the dish has its origins anywhere near Alabama, since it’s found on dinner tables throughout the South. But the hot, fried slices – which you can either pan-fry or deep-fry – have become undeniably associated with the state, courtesy of Fannie Flagg’s quintessentially Southern novel. If you’ve never tried this dish, what we can say for sure is that the pairing of fried cornmeal-flour batter with the tart and firm flesh of unripe fruit is irresistible – especially when served with a cool dipping sauce (we chose ranch dressing). Pour a glass of ice-cold sweet tea to go along with it, and you’ve got yourself some good eatin.’

If you’re headed to sweet home Alabama, check out the Whistlestop Festival in Irondale, September 27, 2014.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Recipe courtesy of Phyllis Foster of Athens, Ala., used with permission.

Ingredients

  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or buttermilk)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ranch dressing for dipping

Instructions

In a deep fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees. Season tomatoes on both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. First dredge tomatoes through the flour mixture, then the egg wash, and then back through the flour mixture again. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so pieces cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and serve with buttermilk ranch dressing.

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