Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes, Y'all

Fried green tomatoes are a quintessential Southern thing, although to be honest, despite growing up with Southern parents, I don't remember ever eating these until I was an adult and made them myself. In fact, I don't remember ever even seeing green tomatoes until I was an adult and discovered them at the farmer's market. We didn't have any farmer's markets in the Virginia 'burbs where I grew up, at least none that I knew of, so it was a while before I learned about a lot of things, like the fact that broccoli doesn't grow with bright orange cheese sauce on it.

At any rate, it wasn't until the past few years actually that I even realized that I enjoyed fried green tomatoes. Being unripe, they are much firmer than regular (ripe) tomatoes, but they get nice and juicy on the inside when you fry them. What doesn't taste good breaded and deep-fried anyway? These really lend themselves well to a vinegary hot sauce, so make sure you have plenty of that on hand. Being the good (half-)Southern girl that I am, I served my tomatoes over some steamed collard greens with some black-eyed peas, jalapeno, and some of the leftover roasted corn salad that I still had in the fridge.

Fried Green Tomatoes (adapted from this recipe)
serves 6

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
3 tsp. Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp. water (equivalent of 2 eggs)
2/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs 
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan
1 pound green tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
Old Bay Seasoning, for serving 
Hot sauce, for serving

1. In a medium bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper. Put the "eggs" in another medium bowl and toss the bread crumbs and vegan Parmesan in a third bowl. Dredge the tomato slices in the flour, then coat them in the egg mix, letting any excess drip back into the bowl. Coat in the bread crumbs, pressing to help them adhere.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the breaded tomatoes in a single layer and cook them over moderately high heat, turning once, until deeply golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the tomato slices to paper towel–lined plates. Sprinkle with salt and Old Bay and serve immediately with hot sauce.