Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

"There's not a tomato safe
south of the Mason-Dixon line." Fannie Flagg.

Everybody likely remembers the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, based on the book by Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. It certainly popularized the common green tomato for sure and lots of restaurants jumped on that green tomato wagon shortly after the movie was released.

But truthfully, fried green tomatoes have been around a long, long time and likely date back to the Depression, when folks would just about fry up anything and call it dinner. A batch of fried green tomatoes with a big glass of sweet iced tea and you had yourself a tasty and light dish for a hot summer night. That would be light as in not heavy, not light as in diet-light!

Some folks claim that the idea of fried green tomatoes came somewhere out of the northern regions of our country and aren't even a "southern thing" at all! Well... no matter where or how they originated, I reckon you can't hardly hear those three words without at least thinkin' of The South, so it was a perfect name for a book and movie that depicted the ups and downs, ins and outs, and complexities of life in the south. I so love that movie and can't even guess at the number of times I have watched it.

Always best with fresh, green tomatoes picked straight out of the backyard garden, fried green tomatoes need to be served hot, preferably right out of the pan. They should be juicy on the inside, but crispy, crunchy and salty on the outside - never soggy!

Fried Green Tomatoes
Posted at

As many large green tomatoes as you need, preferably off the vine
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Buttermilk to cover
1/4 cup or more of bacon fat
1 cup of cornmeal, more or less as needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, or to taste

Slice the tomatoes into thick slices - 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Season generously with salt and pepper and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a small, shallow bowl and cover with buttermilk. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Melt bacon fat over a slightly over medium heat. I highly recommend serving these immediately out of the pan, however, you can preheat oven to just warm if you're doing a large batch and need to hold them to serve all at once.

Mix the corn meal with the Cajun seasoning on a plate. Remove the tomato slices from the buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Dredge in the cornmeal, coating both sides and edges. Dip the tomatoes back into the buttermilk and then the cornmeal. Place immediately into the hot fat, frying for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown, turning only once. Don't crowd the pan ... give them plenty of room to groove!

Drain on paper towels, sprinkle immediately with a generous amount of additional kosher salt as they come out of the pan and serve right away. Can also place into a low oven to keep warm if necessary. Continue with remaining slices, adding additional bacon fat to the skillet as needed. Tomatoes should be crisp, not soggy.

Serve just plain, with a dab of mayo, or with your favorite sauce. These are great with Spicy Mustard Sauce.

Give me a PRINTABLE COPY please!


  1. If hubs will let me pull some off the vine...that sounds divine for dinner!

  2. We don't have tomatoes yet here in Utah but if we did -- yummo to the tummo. My mouth is just watering like you would not believe. These are one of my favorite treats. You would go and put the thought of them in my head -- now what do I do until our tomatoes come on?????

  3. Girl Please!! You know I just printed this recipe!! Hubby and I were just talking about frying some of our green maters.......

  4. I loved the movie, but I've never had a fried green tomato. Guess I have no excuse now. Thanks for the recipe. Have a wonderful day.

  5. Bella, maybe you can sneak one or two of 'em off to have a treat all by yourself. Doesn't anybody else do this behind yer hubby's back??? Anyone??

    Oh Bev... c'mon down here gal and I'll serve ya some right on up!

    Darla, you know all those maters hanging out there just waiting to ripen ... I could not resist!!!

    Mary, I just love them. I ate every single one of those in the picture for breakfast!! And truth be know, I coulda ate more... I know. I know. Just shameful...

  6. I agree, they should be crispy... and yours sure do! Yum :)

  7. I like them think and crispy. You did a bang up job on these!

  8. I received my Mississippi Cookbook in today's mail. I AM SO EXCITED! Can't wait to try some of these recipes. Thanks much!

  9. Karen & Katherine, you're absolutely right - CRISP is really the key.

    Bev, I'm so glad - be sure to let me know if you try anything in there!

  10. I love fried green tomatoes...and of course it always makes me think of the movie. That was probably the first time I'd ever heard of them (but I was pretty young when it was first released). These sound great!

  11. My family were all southerners and don't remember them ever making them. Don't know why. We used to go pickin tomatoes every season for canning too. Weird!!!! I will try these...

  12. I love that movie too! And you're right when you think of fried green tomatoes you think of the south. I have lots of tomato plants this year so hopefully i'll get to try this recipe. I got the cookbook today!! I can't wait to make something from it!! Thank You!!

  13. I have always wanted to try fried green tomatoes and yours looks absolutely delicious! Now if I only had a green tomato. My tomato plants just started flowering. Guess I'll have to be patient. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. I have never tried them...but wouldn't mind!

  15. I loved the movie but I have never tried the entree. Thanks for the recipie. Maybe I will try it sometime.

  16. I could just never bring myself to try one, it just seems bad to deep fry tomatoes. But my first husband's family loved them.

  17. True, it's definitely a YMMV thing - but me, I LOVE them!!


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