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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Better Batter for Fried Green Tomatoes

Since I cannot post pictures, it won't matter that this post is out of season for most people. I would not even know where to get a green tomato on April 7, in northern Alabama. Actually, I could find one but would probably have to steal it from a greenhouse. I mean, buy it from a greenhouse.

Okay, I never knew anyone battered fried green tomatoes. I thought everyone dredged in egg or buttermilk and dipped and turned in cornmeal. NOW, I found out differently! Rats!
Upfront: I detest fried green tomatoes. However, I will fry up a batch. Why? Well, friends and boyfriend do eat them and love them. It seems I can cook without sampling. For certain, I am not tasting these little nasties. That just means the person or people eating must submit themselves to untried fare.

Some days, I am brilliant. One day, my brilliance was born of the despised task of frying green tomatoes along with the other food I was preparing. Okay, I was exhausted and trying to pretend nothing was wrong so my friend would not feel guilty.

We were having about six or seven dishes. That included cornbread and friend green tomatoes. No problem since leftovers are my strong point. I do remember that ripe tomatoes were for me and we had chicken something. So, that leaves two other vegetables. Probably slaw and fresh peas. Thankfully, ripe tomatoes don't require cooking.

As I poured the cornbread batter into a cast iron iron skillet and the batter sputtered and bubbled as it hit the hot grease in the skillet, like a flash the idea came. As the edges of the cornbread were crisping up and the skillet was slid into the oven, my problems were over. I could eliminate one task from the meal preparations.

Use the cornbread batter to cover the sliced green tomatoes for the equally hot cast iron pan of oil awaiting the slices of green-as-grass tomatoes. Brilliance! Brilliance! Now, I don't have to dredge the tomatoes and dip them in cornmeal.

Instead of scraping almost every bit of cornbread batter from the bowl, I left about a quarter of a cup, maybe half a cup. Now, you and I know that amount will never be missed.

The tomatoes were sliced. I am not wasting lots of time on these green nuisances, as you can tell, so I just dumped all the slices into the batter and stirred them in the bowl, using the batter spatula. I took a fork and placed them in the hot cast iron skillet with a bit bubbling of grease/oil and listened as they sputtered and fried while I quickly situated them all in place. Then, I scraped the last bit of cornbread batter and spooned bits of it onto the circles now frying. I smoothed it out on the tops, and sometimes I just left globs of batter on the tomato discs.

When my friend ate these, I watched surreptitiously. Finally, after he had swallowed the first bite, I asked how they were. He was very complimentary.

I confessed.

"Really?" He could not believe it was cornbread batter. "These are as good as I have ever had, maybe even the best."

Yes, he loved me back then. Actually, he must have loved my cooking and library. But, I have hens now.

No more dredging in buttermilk or eggs and cornmeal for me. Done and done.

Here is a recipe that calls for batter, not anything like what I have seen and been told.

Your turn
Just tell me how clever I am. LOL...seriously, have you found a shortcut in cooking that seemed like a bolt of wonderful brilliance at the time? The idea came as I was scraping batter from bowl to cast iron skillet. That is my best tip that I never use, well, almost never because I cook these little nasty things about twice a year. Do you dredge and place in cornmeal or use batter? Or, what?


  1. You are brilliant:) And thats why I started reading your blog.
    I tried fried green tomatoes once, in cornmeal, the traditional way. My opinion was," eh." Not horrible but not good enough to add to the repetoire.
    When I figured out that rice could be cooked by wrapping it in towels ( basket cooking again) I felt amazing! Here I had read an entire experiment written by a man who is otherwise brilliant. He had readers first make a mat out of corks and on and on and had readers go off to make insulation, etc....I just thought, " but why so complicated?"

  2. Yeah, I have to have a bit of brilliance to counteract the stupidity of boiling water dry cotinually. Could this be a difference in male construction and female construction? If it insulates, it insulates. Try the cornbread batter or the recipe that is ONLY batter for green tomatoes.

  3. hey, I'm gonna have to try that! most cornbread recipes make far too much for just the two of us, so you've saved the day. I went to a party once where everyone brought a dish, but one couple brought a deep fat fryer and stood there handing out hot fried green tomatoes. They were the hit of the party!

  4. You will have to let me know how your fried green tomatoes in cornbread batter works. For several years I took and ice cream freezer to a friend's 4th of July party. That was too much The deep fryer for anything sounds like an easier gig. Thanks for sharing.


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