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May 17, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes - From Plant to Plate

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Have you started growing your tomatoes yet this year?  We're getting a bit of a late start, but better a little late than not at all.

I can't think of anything I enjoy more during the spring and summer months than Fried Green Tomatoes from my own plants.  Yes, I love living in the South and I love good-home Southern cookin' too!  So today, I am going to show you how to make your own delicious Fried Green Tomatoes.

First, though, you'll want to start with a good, hearty, beefsteak tomato plant. 



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I love the big, beefy tomatoes.  I love the sweetness to them.



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We have a couple very large pots on our deck.  If you get a pot like this, you'll want to add a few more 1/8" - 1/4" holes in the bottom of the pot so that it has enough drainage. 



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We use Miracle Grow and rich garden soil for our tomato plants each year.  Sometimes we plant 2 small tomato plants in the same pot.



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Make sure, though, that when you plant them, that they are the same "kind" of tomatoes!  Last year we had Roma and Beefsteak tomato plants.  Although we planted them in separate pots and they were about 4 feet from one another, they cross polinated and the beefsteak tomatoes did not get as large as we would have liked.  So keep that in mind when you plant and keep different tomato plants far away from one another.



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We like to get our children involved in the process.  They have fun planting and watering the plants (and spraying each other).  When we get them planted, we make sure they are near the pole that we stick in the center of the pot.  See that green pole in the center of the pot?  That provides stability for the vine to grow.  However ...



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As the vine grows - and believe me, it will grow fast, you'll want to add the wire support around the perimeter of the plant otherwise it will fall over.



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In a matter of weeks, we have ourself a nice, sturdy tomato plant!  This is last years tomatoes - the cross polinated one, so the tomatoes didn't get as large as I hope this years will be.



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As soon as I saw those delicious green tomatoes, I'll bet you can guess what I was thinking while lickin' my chops ....



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Fried Green Tomatoes!!  Let's fry those babies!!  I'm hungry!



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First, you want to wash your tomatoes.  Then, carve out the stem.  Easy.



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Next, make 1/4" slices.  Don't they look delicious?!!  My mother loves to make Fried Green Tomatoes.  It's one of her specialties, so I let her do the cookin' while I took the pictures.



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Even the end of the tomato where you cut out the stem is good to fry up in the pan.



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Yummy.  I can't wait to fry up these slices!



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Now my mother likes to simply dredge the tomatoes in flour, salt, and pepper, and then place them in a frying pan with corn oil.  They turn out good that way, but I am going to give you an alternative recipe here.  The way I love to make Fried Green Tomatoes is to:

  • Place 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine 1 large egg and 1/2 cup of buttermilk in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine another 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl and set aside.  (You can also salt and pepper each tomato individually to taste).  You are now ready to dredge the tomatoes through each bowl.
  • First, dredge each tomato slice in the 1/4 cup of flour, then dip it in the egg and buttermilk mixture, then dredge the tomatoes through the cornmeal mixture.  Delicious. 



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Place the tomatoes in a shallow frying pan with corn oil - not too much corn oil, but just enough to cover the bottom so they fry up real crisp.  Also, make sure that your corn oil (I use Mazola) is nice and hot before you sit your tomatoes in the pan.



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Flip them every minute or so.  I heat the oil on 9 - high, then when I put the first batch of tomatoes in the hot corn oil I turn the temperature down to about 6 or 7.  5 is medium heat on my stovetop.



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As they are done, take them out of the pan with a spatula and place them on a plate or ...



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on a cooling sheet like this (these were cooked in the cornmeal mixture).  Personally, though, I like them nice and hot.



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And, so does my son.  Naturally, in our house, whose got time to wait for them on a cooling tray!  We dig in while they are good and hot and crispy - and these are my mother's Fried Green Tomatoes, made with her very quick and easy recipe of flour, salt, and pepper.  Hannah is looking for scraps I see.



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You can garnish your Fried Green Tomatoes too.  They are the perfect compliment to your meal - and healthy too!



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My favorite quote from one of my favorite movies:

"I found out what the secret to life is -- friends. Best friends."

--"Fried Green Tomatoes"

"Now go make yourself some delicious Fried Green Tomatoes, prop yourself up in your favorite chair, covered in your favorite blanket, with a good book, some iced sweet tea, and soak in the moment that is all your own" --  Susan V.

Would you like this recipe for your own?  Just click on the recipe box to print off the recipe or save to your computer in pdf.

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