I don’t fry foods very often. But when local green tomatoes are available, who can resist? They’re something I’ve never used a recipe to make. I just make them the way my Mom did: Slice the tomatoes, season them with salt and pepper, dredge them in cornmeal, and fry them up. When they weren’t crispy and crunchy, I just chalked it up to operator error. Perhaps my oil wasn’t hot enough or the tomatoes were sliced too thick.
But that was before I was editing recipes for our new Paula Deen’s Southern Classics. (It’s on newsstands now or available online.) Paula included a tip in her Fried Green Tomato recipe that explains why she salts the green tomatoes and lets them stand for 30 minutes before coating and frying—something neither my mother nor I had ever done. Paula said the salt pulls the water out of the tomatoes so you don’t end up with soggy breading.
So last night, I used a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes for the first time ever. I was amazed at how much moisture the salt drew out of the tomatoes. It took a double thickness of paper towels to get them good and dry. And after frying and draining on a wire rack, they were perfectly crispy and crunchy.
If you get Paula Deen’s Southern Classics, you’ll notice we put the recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes in our Appetizer chapter because in the last ten years or so, they show up on restaurant menus more often as starters then anything else. And I must say, serving them as an appetizer with a sweet-hot salsa, remoulade, or horseradish dip is a mighty fine way to kick-start your taste buds. But they can’t be beat when served as a side dish with a mound of coleslaw, fresh purple hull peas, and a wedge of cornbread. What’s your favorite way to enjoy this Southern classic?
Until Next Time,
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Inspired by her early days of selling lunches as The Bag Lady, Paula Deen will host a Box Lunch to End Hunger, presented by The Bag Lady Foundation, Springer Mountain Farms, and Hoffman Media. This grab-and-go lunch event will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, September 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. For a $15 donation at the door (no advanced tickets), guests will receive a box lunch prepared by Edgar’s Bakery featuring Springer Mountain Farms chicken and Golden Flake potato chips, and have the opportunity to meet Paula Deen. Grab these delicious boxed lunches and take them back to your office or share with a friend or neighbor. One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, which serves 12 counties in our area. For the price of one lunch, 135 meals or 65 pounds of food can be distributed to the food insecure in our area.
“Since September is Hunger Action Month, the timing of this event couldn’t be more perfect,” says Brian Hart Hoffman, Chief Creative Officer at Hoffman Media. “Paula Deen’s dedication to helping those in need and positively impacting people’s lives every day makes this event ideal for getting our community involved in the fight to end hunger in Central Alabama.”
Each guest will be entered into a raffle to win front-row seats to the Paula Deen Live! show at the Alabama Theatre the same evening.
Sponsors for Paula Deen’s Box Lunch to End Hunger include Golden Flake and Edgar’s Bakery.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are located at 2612 Lane Park Road Birmingham, AL 35223.
Come see Paula’s live show at the Times Union Center for Performing Arts in Jacksonville, FL and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
Tickets available from Ticketmaster here!
Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.
Join Paula at DuBois Furniture in Waco, TX for a book signing and meet and greet from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.