Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes

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Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes

By Elizabeth Taliaferro

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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.

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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.

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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,
Elizabeth Taliaferro

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Reader Comments:

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Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev

By Anonymous on August 15, 2014

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I miss Paula Dean!!!! I love all her recipes and her shows....

By trisha hammar on August 09, 2014

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I love to slice onion and fry them exactly like the green tomatoes they are delicious together.

By Anonymous on July 18, 2014

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You are the best. I always go to your recipes before I cook. I recently made your zuchinni bread. It is awesome. As I am allergic to oils, I used one half cup of oil. It was great. You are the best. Thanks for your time, talent, and cooking ability. You make me look good.

By elaine on July 08, 2014

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GOOD MORNING PAULA - YOUR RECIPE FOR FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WAS GREAT - YOU ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN AND SO IS YOUR FAMILY - PEACE AND LOVE - LOUIS CARUSO

By LOUIS CARUSO on June 06, 2014

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Morning Paula! Love your recipies! Always google your recipies first! Always Yummy and user friendly! Keep em comming !Miss your smiling face! Keep the Faith!

By Anonymous on September 26, 2013

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Paula, I always google search "your recipe version" first for any cooking reference I might need. I am a Southern girl and have cooked for many years, learning from my mother and grandmother. Your down-to-earth ways, and big ole Southern smile and good wishes for all...make me think of my upbringing. Thank you so much for being yourself. Just keep your chin up, when things get tough...and "keep on keeping on" as my grandmother from Alabama, used to say!

By Lisa on September 22, 2013

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Thought you got a raw deal miss your shows. Have your books they can't take that away Thank you Shawn

By shawn on September 04, 2013

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HeY Paula, you ought to tell the media to mind the business of reporting real news like, economy, unfair government spending, how to get folks back to work and why focus on someone like you as a sacrifice to escape the real happening going on in America , we have troops in foreign lands that need to come back home, we need to focus on helping our vets get good jobs, restore the values in the American Family. Get a grip media you do not own our minds, we are strong independent thinkers despite what you think we should be listening and watching you call news. Hey Paula, keep cooking your smile brightness up America.

By Anonymous on July 26, 2013

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So loved watching jammie;s show Home For Dinner July 21. Want to make the delicious fococcia bread he made using pizza dough. Paula could u tell us how to make our banna bread dark like the one McDonalds now serves.? Had me a big bowl of grits this morn with yes real butter and salt and pepper. i am from Ark. and we do love our grits. such a wonderful comfort food. Yum-yum. While i reside in Ct. my heart will always be in the south. So ual keep those wonderful tips and dishes coming our way. WWe love u all. Rosie in Ct.

By R. Herdman on July 21, 2012

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Paula This tip was so helpful!! My fried green tomatoes turned out so much better after releasing a lot of water prior to cooking them! Thank you so much for this tip!!!!!!

By Patricia McDaniel on July 18, 2012

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Congratulations Paula, I saw your picture on People magazine and just had to tell you how proud you should be of your weight loss and better health. I still love all your recipes, including the butter, but now in moderation. Keep up your wonderful shows.

By Elizabeth A Schaeffer on July 03, 2012

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It would have been nice to have the recipe for the Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes instead of just a plug to sell yet another cook book. Shame on you.

By Miss Pat on June 30, 2012

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Where's the recipe? Janine

By Anonymous on June 27, 2012

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paula i love you and the boys. i love to cook and make most of your recipes. i love the good hand me down fromm family recipes. i would love to see you or one of the boys do a show where they go to homes with families favorite recipes or holiday specials. they are the best recipes i have all my mother's favorit recipes. please don't go fat free or low carb or all that diet way we have in our world today . just don't over eat. i love good food, not all this fancy food either. i love your show and have all your books and also your boys books when they were out on the road that was a great show too. keep up the good work and keep those cook books coming. maybe have a contest with people sending in there favorite recipes and ,ake a cook book with them i would buy it. love ya thanks for being you and keep that smile. marleneeeeeeeeeeee

By marlene snedeker on June 27, 2012

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I've always loved Fried Green Tomatoes. I grew up in Kentucky which produces the BEST vine-ripened tomatoes ever. The same soil that produces Kentucky's fine thoroughbred horses gives tomatoes their high acidic bite that cannot be replicated anywhere. I've tried every trick in the book while living in Savannah. My Mom made wonderful Fried Green Tomatoes. I make them just like she did - - use Jiffy Cornmeal mix. Dip once in Jiffy mix, then egg mixture, then again in the Jiffy mix. Fry in just a tad of vege. oil or bacon grease. YUM!

By DELIA SADLER on June 26, 2012

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Just a note on Elizabeths' article on Fried Green Tomatoes. We like them with just about any meal. I think my favorite though, is with scrambled eggs,sausage and toast for breakfast.They are also really good to just dice up some green tomatoes and onions and saute them in some butter , then add your eggs and scramble. Oh so yummy!

By Teresa(aka:Peach)Roberts on June 26, 2012

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Elizabeth Taliferro, ... You commented about "editing recipes for Paula Deen's SOUTHERN CLASSIC'S Cook Book." you mistakenly used the word "then" in one of the paragraphs about Green Tomatoes......instead of "than." ... tsk, tsk, tsk ...

By Tina Maines on June 26, 2012

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IF YOU FIND YOU HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF GREEN TOMATOES AND NO TIME TO FRY THEM...MY SISTER AND I DO THIS FOR LATER EVEN AFTER THE TOMATO SEASON IS OVER. WE SLICE OUR TOMATOES PUT INTO CLEANED MASON JARS. ADD 1 TEASPOON OF SALT POUR BOILING WATER OVER TOMATOES IN THE JAR AND SEAL WELL. YOU WILL NEED TO HOT BATH THESE ALSO. WHEN READY TO EAT DRAIN WELL ON PAPER TOWELS, SALT, PEPPER COAT AND FRY...ENJOY ANYTIME OF THE YEAR!!

By JANIECE WRAY on June 26, 2012

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salting and letting tomatoes drain does help... When I make stuffed tomatoes, I remove the insides, salt the inside, and overt to let them drain... I was taught that in 7th grade foods class.. I salt eggplant slices and let that drain to remove water and bitterness.

By jerrye armstrong on June 26, 2012

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