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Old 12-16-2017, 06:07 PM   #1
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Fried Green Tomatoes?

My husband’s birthday is coming up (the day after Christmas. It sucks). One of his favorite foods is fried green tomatoes. I’ve only ever had them once, in a restaurant, and I thought they were revolting. Not as in “the renegades are revolting,” the adjective, as in “I think fried green tomatoes are revolting.” He’s my husband though, and I’d like to make him a special dinner. I can push my food around the plate while we’re dining by candlelight (nah, that’s not gonna happen) and then have a couple of slices of za later (auto-correct let “za” go uncorrected. What is this world coming to?)

So, after that verbose intro, here’s my very simple question: Where, in the name of all that’s holy, does one obtain green tomatoes? Are they simply unripened tomatoes (supermarkets don’t generally sell them), a specific strain of heirloom tomato, or tomatillos (which really don’t taste much like tomatoes at all).

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, I’m all in, but I can google recipes and save you all of the typing. I just want to know where to obtain them!


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Old 12-16-2017, 06:28 PM   #2
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I have seen both green unripe tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes called for in recipes for fried green tomatoes. My SO, a southern bred boy, uses unripe tomatoes. As for myself, I can't stand them...yuck!

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Old 12-16-2017, 07:12 PM   #3
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I grew up eating fried tomatoes from my family's garden, but they were red ripe tomatoes. I love them. I have lived in Texas for over 30-years, and have never had fried green tomatoes. That seems to be more of a deep South thing, not getting as far as Texas for the most part.

I do know that when I make fried ripe tomatoes, I have to do it hot and fast, and have the tomatoes cold when they go into the pan, or they get soggy. I also let them sit sliced on paper towels for a while before I bread them, again, to get some of the water out, so I'm frying the meat of the tomato, with minimal water.

I use butter to fry mine, like my parents and grandparents did.

Good luck.

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Old 12-16-2017, 07:51 PM   #4
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Now is the time to call that expensive market/ produce mgr. And if they don't have/ can't order/ ask if they know where to look.

Do you have farmer's mkts in LV this time of year. We have several that have moved in doors for the winter. The only thing i remember them having is jarred kim chee.

Check out any southern style restaurants, bbq restaurants, and even sea food restaurants, esp if they have cat fish on the menu. Maybe they will borrow you a couple gr tomatoes, for a price even.

That's all I've got.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Hi Joel, and happy upcoming birthday to your DH! Busy time of year for you.

I'd be surprised if you can find green tomatoes this time of year. You can use just about any green tomato, but not tomatillos. I can only get them through a local farmer that will occasionally have a few green tomatoes if I get there at the right time, or if I grow my own and pick them green.

I LOVE fried green tomatoes, done right. My grandmother used to make them and I could eat them by the plateful. If you've ever made fried zucchini or fried eggplant, it's done pretty much the same way, as you have to draw most of the water out for the coating to become crispy and the fruit not all soggy and waterlogged.

Maybe one of our southern or Midwestern folks here with more knowledge than I will chime in.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Fried green tomatoes in the south (not necessarily the deep south - they're popular in Virginia and North Carolina) are typically made with unripe tomatoes. The dish was developed to use up unripe tomatoes from gardens when it got too late in the season for them to ripen.

I'd also be surprised if you can find any this time of year. I use them from my garden and our farmers market has them. They're in some supermarkets here in the summer and fall.

Tomatillos are a completely different plant from tomatoes. I have never made them with ripe tomatoes. I can imagine it would be difficult to do without them falling apart. Unripe tomatoes are much firmer and have less water, so that's not a problem.

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Think about doing a half-year birthday dinner in June with fried green tomatoes
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Tomatillos are a completely different plant from tomatoes. I have never made them with ripe tomatoes. I can imagine it would be difficult to do without them falling apart. Unripe tomatoes are much firmer and have less water, so that's not a problem.
Yes, they are tricky to fry when ripe. You have to get as much water out as possible before you bread and fry them. It can be done, and I've done it, but it does require some significant work. Since I've never made fried green tomatoes, I have no idea how cooking them compares.

I don't make fried tomatoes very often. It is a lot of work for what is basically an appetizer. It is one of those things I cook when I'm feeling nostalgic.

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Old 12-17-2017, 08:29 AM   #8
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Choose rock hard green tomatoes. If they are "pinking" a little that's OK. In fact some folks prefer them that way. Slice 1/4 in thick. Salt & Pepper. Around here most people just toss them in cornmeal....sometimes with a little bit of flour thrown in. Fry in p-nut oil. The "trick" is to get them done without burning the outside. Medium heat is best, and don't get in a hurry.
Serve hot. ~~ You can find recipes that use a wet batter type coating...if that's to your liking then by all means. These are not my favorite however.
Serve while hot. ~~ Use can serve them plain/as are, or my favorite, top with a little remoulade sauce. Top with lump crab meat for a "fancy" version and delicious appetizer. Green tomatoes are available year around... though you may have to look for them this time of year, and depending on your location. HTH.

Fun & Enjoy!

Edit: Any green tomato variety is fine. Does not need to heirloom. Avoid tomatillos.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:53 AM   #9
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My family loves my fried green tomatoes. Here's how I prepare them.

As Uncle Bob already mentioned, slice the tomatoes 1/4-inch thick. Like Uncle Bob, I prefer nice hard, green tomatoes.

Once sliced, I dip them in beaten egg, then in Italian bread crumbs. Place breaded tomatoes on some waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Longer is okay. This chilling step is extremely helpful in "setting" the coating so it doesn't fall or flake off during the frying step.

In a large skillet heat the oil of your choice (I use canola.), about 1/2-inch deep until it begins to shimmer. Add the tomatoes making sure you don't crowd them. Fry until one side is golden and turn to cook the other side until golden, too. Lift out of the oil and place on a wire rack. No paper towels. Just a rack. Lightly salt while still warm.

P.S. The handiest tool for both breading and frying is my pig tail food flipper. I keep the small one in the kitchen and the larger one for use on the grill outside. We've given quite a few as gifts and everyone who's received them loves them as much as we do.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #10
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I love them... Come to think about it, I only fry them when I happen to see them in a market.. The rest of the time I don't think about them...


Disclaimer: My experiences may not be as someone else might think correct.. Life goes on..
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green tomatoes, tomato, tomatoes

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