I have been away a bit. Away from from the blog and away from the kitchen. I haven’t lost my mojo- just a little vertebrae. Yeah, that’s not a typo. I had cervical spine surgery* a few weeks ago, and the most of those days were spent in bed- taking pills and sleeping. I couldn’t swallow anything for a good while and cooking was out of the question. I am still quite limited in what I can do- but I feel MUCH better and very blessed to have had a great doctor. Finally today I felt doing something and fried green tomatoes seemed the perfect reentry into the kitchen. Simple, delicious comfort food.
The second most important ingredient for FGT’s is buttermilk. I ALWAYS have buttermilk on hand, usually, but of course today- I didn’t. NO biggie, I am all about making whatever I can from “scratch.” This is so easy to do. Barely a little bump in the recipe road. Exactly two ingredients. Vinegar and milk. One cup milk- one tablespoon vinegar, stir. Wait 10 minutes. Stir again. Boom! Buttermilk.
While the milk was curdling I decided to look for a recipe. Tennessee born and Texas raised, I didn’t need a recipe to make these. But I have collected so many recipe books- I thought I’d see what “real” recipes were out there. Sara Beth Foster has a beautiful book about southern cooking appropriately called Sara Beth Foster’s Southern Kitchen. The Fried Green Tomatoes recipe was close to my own but with actual measurements! With fresh buttermilk ready to go so was I. This is a very straightforward process.
Heat the oil of your choice in a iron skillet. While it’s working mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. (I made a slight change- I used half stoneground cornmeal and half coarse polenta. It made the crust little crunchier- I like crunch.) Next, in another bowl mix the buttermilk and the egg. Slice the tomatoes.
Dip the tomatoes in the cornmeal mixture, then the milk then the cornbread again. Shake off the excess and fry them until they are deep brown on each side. Be patient and let them cook nicely on the first side. If you turn them more than once- it makes the crust more prone to falling off. The one on the right is a little too well done for some, but trust me friends, it tasted GREAT.
Some folks like to eat their FGTs with a sauce on the side; Blue Cheese or Ranch or Green Goddess- I don’t care about all that. At least not today. Today it was all about getting a pretty picture before they got cold. Once that was done, it was all about eating. Finally. Cooking and eating and enjoying being back.
* yogis, don’t EVER allow a yoga teacher to touch or “adjust” your head in any posture- especially when you are in savasana, relaxing with your eyes closed. There is one lineage that is notorious for this “assist”- just say NO!