I first heard about fried green tomatoes from the movie when it came out, oh, about (ohmygod!) 16 or 17 years ago.
(Although, thinking back on it, why was I watching that movie at such a "young" age, haha. Their concerns weren't my concerns. But I did/do like the movie.)
Anyway, the fried green tomatoes don't make an appearance in the movie until late and they weren't that big a deal in the movie. However, the term "fried green tomatoes" has always stayed with me.
I never see any green (unripe) tomatoes anywhere so the possibility of making it never crossed my mind. Then, I saw a couple of posts about fried green tomatoes, including this video by Chef John of Food Wishes Video Recipes. He even mentions Fried Green Tomatoes in his post, so I had to use his recipe! =)
Then, finally, we came across green tomatoes in the market! They weren't being sold as unripe tomatoes. I had to dig around in the huge crate of red to find them. And some of them were already turning slightly red.
I followed the video recipe quite well. Here are the flour, egg and seasoned cornmeal stations. I salted the sliced tomatoes for a bit beforehand and also let the breaded slices sit before pan-frying. (That posed a little of a problem as I was soon running out of surface area for the slices, hehe.)
We've never had fried green tomatoes anywhere before this so we didn't exactly know what to expect. They were so good! They didn't even need any sort of dipping sauce! (I made a caper-mayo number, but that was completely ignored.) The sweetness of the cornmeal and its "gritty" texture in the crust were exactly what the slightly tart tomatoes needed. And the flavor of the green tomatoes were fantastic!
I have not seen the movie, so I did not really know what these "fried green tomatoes" were about. At first, I thought it was just some sort of expression, a turn of phrase. Or perhaps a metaphor, although a metaphor elucidating precisely what aspect of the human condition -- I didn't take that thought that far.
Am I glad that these fried green tomatoes were not metaphors, because the real stuff was just so darn delicious! To be honest, I didn't expect them to be that good or I didn't think I'd like them, because -- well, watery tomatoes? Sure, them watery tomatoes are fried, but still. Watery. Water. As in tasteless. I'm sure there's a metaphor somewhere there, if we care to look.
I did not imagine that frying unripe tomatoes would concentrate that particular tomato genius of tart-and-sweet in these their flesh. Add to the juicy lusciousness the contrast of the cornmeal crust and the whole fried green tomato was a phenomenal experience.
I'm almost tempted to watch the movie, just to see fried green tomatoes being eaten, because even just a vicarious experience would do for me.
Better than the Whistle Stop Cafe?
So, please, make some!!! (Triple exclamation marks!!!)
If you haven't done so before, then please check out the Fried Green Tomatoes video at Food Wishes Video Recipes.
Market Loot Series
Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad
Yellow Beans, English Peas, Radish and Dill Salad
Fried Green Tomatoes
Chimichurri with Flank Steak
[eatingclub] vancouver Cornmeal Love
Fried Green Tomatoes
Potato Cornmeal Foccacia
Cornmeal-crusted Trout w/ Lemon-Anchovy-Caper Sauce
Upside Down Cranberry Cornmeal Cake
[updated 09-17-2008] Ning of Heart and Hearth kindly invited us to submit an entry to Bookmarked Recipes, this edition being hosted by her.
We're glad to join!
The roundup will be posted on Monday, September 22.