Fried Green Tomatoes; A Down South favourite...

Until 9 years ago I don't recall eating fried green tomatoes at any prior point in my life, and then I traveled to Oklahoma on business. Oh my.

In my numerous travels through that wonderful state I was treated to a number of evenings out at great restaurants in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City (OKC) areas and while there were fantastic barbecue joints, great steak houses and in OKC, a restaurant that occupied an old gas station that served up the best fried chicken I have ever eaten in my life; sadly all I remember about that great place aside from the incredible fried chicken was that it was close to the OKC airport. But what about the fried green tomatoes you ask?

One day as I was being guided around Tulsa and being that it was nearing lunchtime my guide took us to a place that while not someplace I would have entered unassisted, it was a local favourite he told me and we set to trying it out.

Its specialty was fried catfish along with other items that were all made better by a dunking in the deep fryer; deep fried - okra, green beans, potatoes of course and green tomatoes, my god those fried green tomatoes. Spellbinding they were. I yummed up a plate of catfish and green tomatoes, fried of course, and promised myself I will have to try them again. Well, as much as I savoured those morsels in Tulsa I didn't eat them again until last year.

After much gentle prodding and less gentle haranguing I cobbled together a number of raised garden beds for my wife to exercise her green thumb, and one of her exercises was tomato plants, one of which was a beefsteak plant, and by late August the tomatoes were huge but green. So we picked them to ripen indoors to beat the frost, and as we were packing them I remembered my deep fried culinary adventure in Tulsa, and fried green tomatoes were being demanded by my memory, hence, the recipe below was the result.

We've already had 2 meals of fried green tomatoes this year and the beefsteak plants are loaded right now, so more fine dining, deep fried style, will soon be underway.

Enjoy, but remember to exercise and take your statins....

                        Remoulade (fancy French word for mayonnaise based sauce)

1 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp chili sauce

1 Tbsp Creole spice

1 Tbsp horseradish, (don't use creamed horseradish)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I like Cholula)
1 tsp capers, minced fine (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced fine or pressed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs large green tomatoes (about 4), cut crosswise into 1/4" thick slices

1 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (or rice flour for a gluten-free delight)

1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
2 eggs, beaten until you get a confession
1/4 cup water
Oil for frying

Pre heat oil to 350 F in a large pot or deep skillet (oil should be at least 3" deep)

First make the remoulade:

In a medium bowl add all the remoulade ingredients together and whisk to combine. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the tomato slices on a wire rack then sprinkle both sides with salt, wait 15 minutes then pat both sides dry with paper towel.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne in a shallow bowl or pie plate.

In a medium bowl blend the eggs and water together, set aside.

Dredge the tomatoes in the flour mixture ensuring they are well coated, place flour coated tomato slices back on the wire rack, place rack in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Add the masa harina to the flour dredge mixture you used to coat the tomatoes, mix well.

Once the coated tomato slices have rested in the fridge, dip the tomatoes in the egg mixture, and then dredge each slice in the flour/masa mixture.

Then place them back on the rack and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.This ensures the coating will stay stuck to the tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes to the hot oil and fry in batches of 3-4 slices, do not crowd them!

Fry until golden, about 1-2 minutes, then flip (the tomatoes, not you) and fry for a minute or two longer until they are golden brown and crisp (they will float to the top when they are cooked).

Drain cooked slices on a paper towel for few seconds, then place onto serving plate to serve.

Garnish with minced chives or shallots, or serve them naked to eager diners along with the remoulade sauce!

Snowy Palms Resort