Confession: I wanted tomato plants in my garden just so that I would have green tomatoes, because fried green tomatoes are so stinking good. But, alas, our tomato plants produced very little. Then, on a recent trip to the Farmer’s Market I spied green tomatoes and swooped. I grabbed those green beauties like they were manna from heaven, did a little happy dance, and wrapped them up like babies. Oh, happy day!
Confession: I like eating fried green tomatoes more than I like cooking them. Proper frying is quite the process- a messy process- that requires racks, cookie sheets, three pie plates, countless utensils, lots of paper towels, and time, and that’s all before the whole oil and fry part. And once the fry step is complete, you’re left with clean-up: oil splats and goopy, eggy flour splotches, not to mention all the tools and your fry face. On this day of confessions, I’m not going to lie, frying green tomatoes is not the easiest of cooking ventures, but the middle step where you eat fried green tomatoes makes the other steps so worth it. I swear. Green tomatoes are tangy and crunchy. The breading has crunch from panko, zip from buttermilk, and some hints of spice and garlic. Fried green tomatoes are a wonderful marriage of the two: fried (enough said) slices of goodness that offer zip and freshness. Yum times ten!
Confession: Cutting corners, as in omitting a breading step or shallow frying them doesn’t work. Been there, done that. My healthy version fried in a pan with a couple tablespoons of oil never cooked properly. Pan frying doesn’t get hot enough to cook the tomatoes, and there’s no proper solution: with the heat cranked up the breading burns and the tomatoes are undercooked, cook them on medium and the breading browns nicely but the tomatoes are undercooked, add a little water to help the tomatoes cook and you’re left with cooked tomatoes but mushy breading. So if you find yourself with green tomatoes, then do yourself a favor and fry them up the proper way. Sure, frying is a commitment and not the healthiest of ways to eat your vegetables. But this isn’t ordinary fried food. Take a bite and you’ll wonder if the heavens opened to bless you with some seriously tasty food. Hark, are those angels I hear?
Confession: You can use tomatillos if you don’t have green tomatoes. I live in Minnesota, or Minnesnowta for most of the year, and I don’t always have the luxury of green tomatoes when a fried green tomato craving hits. My solution: tomatillos, which are found in stores year-round. Yay, me! Now, a green tomato is an unripe tomato and a tomatillo is smaller than the average tomato with a brown husk and a textually different interior, but both are tangy members of the nightshade family and fried they taste pretty similar.
Confession: I ate at a Southern restaurant, Revival, recently. With an hour and a half wait at four-thirty on a Saturday, it’s quite a popular spot, to say the least. But it’s quite tasty if you have the patience to endure the wait, and they have fried green tomatoes, bypassing the whole process of making them on your own. With soon-to-be expansions and another branch opening in Saint Paul, fried green tomato cravings (and the wait, hopefully) will be a thing of the past. I must say, however, that mine are better. Yeah, I said it. And if you make them yourself, you can eat as many as you can make and stuff in your face, which, full disclosure, is A LOT.