Monday, June 6, 2011

Cooking with Dr. Monkey

Today's episode: Fried Green Tomatoes.

I started out by washing two medium sized green tomatoes. For this dish the more locally grown the better when it comes to your tomatoes, but since it's so early in the season I bought these from a produce stand that no doubt shipped them in from Florida.
Next I sliced my tomatoes:
After slicing my tomatoes I made my batter.
Most folks around here use a cornmeal based batter but I've been experimenting with a masa harina based batter. This time I mixed half a cup or corn meal with half a cup of masa harina. Then I added salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, and a teaspoon of dried oregano. Then I mixed in a beaten egg and enough water to make the batter thick yet soupy. Then I tossed in my tomato slices and made sure they were evenly coated.

The next step is super important. Pour enough canola oil in your frying pan to evenly cover it. And then let it heat up. Don't put anything in your pan until the oil is sizzling hot. I can't stress this enough, make sure the oil is hot before you put any tomatoes in the pan.
I cooked my tomatoes for about two minutes on each side. If you slice them thicker than I did, then let them cook more than two minutes. It's important to let them cook because the cooking brings out the moisture in them and the batter becomes good and crunchy which provides a good contrast between your now moist tomato.
These were good but they needed a little more salt in the batter.

Ideally fried green tomato should taste salty, peppery, and a little sour. They should also be crunchy. To accentuate the sour flavor you can use buttermilk instead of water in the batter.

I have topped fried green tomatoes with salsa, pickled jalapenos, a dash of sour cream, or a dab of plain yogurt, although not at the same time. Fried green tomatoes are also good on sandwiches the next day if you have any leftover.


Megan said...

I have been wanting to try this forever. I'm gonna make some.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! You are still publishing fabulous recipes. Dr. Monkey, I'm relieved to know that at least someone has kept guard of the national situation since I bowed out of the blogging world several years ago. As you were.