My regular readers (both of you) have probably noticed that I have a small case of "tomato envy" this summer. The deer ate almost every tomato in our garden.
This afternoon, I was wandering aimlessly around my kitchen trying to come up with a dinner idea. My wandering took me out to the garden. I was hoping to find a couple of zucchini's to saute and serve over pasta. I walked through the garden, looking forlornly at the tomato bushes. I noticed several green tomatoes that the deer had not yet nibbled on. (Ask the cyclist about his most recent method of "natural" deer repellent--apparently it's working.) But I knew they wouldn't ripen before the first frost set in.
That's when I thought of my good friend Lisa and her fried green tomatoes.
I try not to eat fried foods. Until tonight, I had never successfully deep fried at home. We don't own a fry daddy, not even a fry baby. We try to eat healthily so that we can splurge on the baked goods.
These are well worth the effort (and grease). If you think about it, how many times are you going to have green tomatoes you need to use up...just once a year.
But I can promise you that next year, even if the deer stay away, I will still nab some tomatoes before they ripen. These little guys are juicy, a little bit tart, with the perfect crispy crust.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green tomatoes
pinch of coarse salt
Enough flour to coat tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 T grated Parmesan (this is one instance when the cheese from the can is perfect)
large pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
hot oil for frying
Slice tomatoes 1/4" to 1/3" thick. Lay on a paper towel to absorb moisture. Sprinkle with pinch of salt.
Get out three shallow bowls (I used pie plates).
Put the flour in #1.
Lightly beat the eggs in #2.
Combine the cornmeal, Parmesan, cayenne, salt and black pepper in #3.
Heat oil to 200 celsius (use a candy/deep fry thermometer).
Dip the tomatoes (both sides) in dish #1, then #2, and then #3. Fry in oil about 3-4 minutes per side (until golden brown and crispy). Drain on paper towels.
Serve with Ranch dip.