Posted by: aauntiem | April 12, 2010

Oven Fried Green Tomatoes

Towards the end of my graduate degree I was: reading several books a week and writing very brilliant things-and-things about them (a-hum-hum), teaching, working as a Program Coordinator for a mentoring program and academic advisor, and other real life duties. Picasso and I lived with my gracious parents at the time, allowing us the opportunity to put me through graduate school. In the thick of things, when I lost my mind studying for the comp exam (is it drafty in here… or the ghost of comp exams past?), I decided it was an excellent time to take up a hobby.

I am not sure if that:

A)     Tipped me over the edge to insanity

B)       Pulled me off the cliff

C)      Helped me balance somewhere in-between

With so many hours of free time to spare, I began reading about, then, planning, and finally planting an herb and vegetable garden.

Amazingly, I, the girl that stinks at most coordination/outdoor activities, was pretty great at this. I sowed all my seeds and viola! they grew.

That spring and summer, as I prepared to complete my master’s degree, my mother came up with dozens of new ways for our cream-of-mushroom-soup/fried southern food family to eat fresh garden herbs and vegetables.

Of the many things I grew in that first garden of okra, banana peppers, strawberries, watermelon, basil, oregano, thyme, and others my two favorites were cucumber and tomatoes. These were the most amazing, juicy, tasty things. So different from the water gooey mega-superstore version.

It was when I began to love tomatoes.

That summer my mother made the most magnificent cucumber dip (oh, please provide me with this recipe), bruschetta, and fried green tomatoes.

Before that, I had only ever had fried green tomatoes at a seafood restaurant by the gulf. I remember that the restaurant was on a summer beach trip my family takes every year. I remember that the place was a nice steak and fish house and that my grandfather, whom I hardly see, was taking my family to dinner—aunts, and cousins, and all. I don’t remember who ordered the fried green tomatoes, but I remember that my first encounter with them was like magic. That little bitter bite with the salty crisp goodness on the outside, meeting the cool and creamy ranch. Few things can beat that.

Just like a fat kid to block out everything else and remember the food. Sad, but true.

That one moment, though, burned my memory.

Ever since, fried green tomatoes taste like summer in Florida.

This spring I decided to stop pouting about the fact that I don’t have a proper yard because Picasso and I bought a townhome and decided to grow a small porch garden. My tomatoes plants just started to flower this last week. But, the weather has been getting warmer, and that desire for fresh vegetables and fruits has come alive in me again (Hurry up plants! Opps, no mean to rush, you just take your time and grow for the mama).

So, this Saturday, Picasso and I went to the farmer’s market on the outskirts of the older historic district of our town. There, you leave the world Picasso and I inhabit—one of Wal-Marts, fast food drive thrus, and chain restaurants—and head into a part of Florida that is reminiscent of other parts of the south.

I will tell you more about this later, but, as deserves its own post, it will suffice to say that I scored some green tomatoes.

But, if you recall that I am back on plan and can’t really go frying the heck out tomatoes and live to tell about it you can begin to see where I have a problem.

That is where recipe builder comes to the rescue. I love recipe builder. I owe it my life. If I were a superhero, recipe builder would be my Robin. Or, better yet my Alfred. To pay my respects I wrote an awful haiku.

A Haiku for Recipe Builder

modify bad

to escape diet-doldrums

rejuvenate the hope of taste

Maybe, that should stay between us. If I keep writing poetry recipe builder might break up with me. Bad poetry aside, recipe builder helped me generate an oven- fried green tomato recipe.

This is magical people. Serve with some of that zero point creamy dill dip and fall in love with the world again, just in time for summer. Or, add it to your meal for a special summer time treat.

Oven Fried Tomatoes serves 3

2 Weight Watcher Points

1 large green tomato(es)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup(s) corn flakes, finely crushed
2 item(s) egg white(s)
1/4 cup(s) reduced fat buttermilk (or if you can find it, fat free)

Salt to taste

PAM

Preheat the oven to 375° and let’s get to frying things, dub-ba-you dub-ba-you style.

Go ahead and foil a baking sheet. Then, add a roasting rack. Spray with Pam so it doesn’t stick to all the sides.

Measure out your dipping ingredients in shallow bowls that are wide enough to fit tomato slices in. So, get out your ¼ cup of flour.

Next, Crack open your eggs and remove the yoke.

Add in a hint of water. Whip it all around.

Grind up your corn flakes, with a pestle or food processor, or the good-ol’ Ziploc smash style.

Then, chop your tomato into thin slices.


Place the tomatoes in a bowl.

Add salt and cayenne.


Pour in buttermilk. Toss to coat.

Then, start tossing dirty dished in the sink. Clean up this working surface mess (by moving to the sink) and line up your batter dip bowls. You want a little tomato battering factory.

Go ahead and grab a tomato slice from the milk bath.

Dip it into the flour.

Now, remove from the flour, shaking off excess.

Dip floured tomato into the egg, shaking off excess.

Place tomato into crushed flakes.

Roll it around until covered. Shake off excess. Place the breaded tomato on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the tomatoes are coated.

Then, spray the tomatoes with Pam (this helps them get the goldenie brown). Bake for about 12-15 minutes, watching to make sure that the tomatoes are done and the top is golden brown.

This should make about three slices per serving. So, eat up.

Here is the recipe.

AuntieM

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Responses

  1. I’ve never had fried green tomatoes, but I could devour about 10 of those for the breading alone.


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