Fried Green Tomatoes
A summer staple.
2 firm green tomatoes, washed
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. brad crumb
1/2 C. fine ground cornmeal
full-fat, cultured buttermilk
salt and pepper
a high-heat neutral oil, like sunflower or expeller pressed cocount oil
Slice the tomatoes into even, 1/4 inch slices. I find the thickness of a fried green tomato is incredibly relevant to its deliciousness. Too thick, and it overwhelms with moisture. Too thin, and it becomes pulverized by cooking. 1/4" is a nice middle ground-- still firm and tart after frying, but not unyieldingly raw. I usually lay the slices out side by side on a cutting board and sprinkle them lightly with salt, letting them sit while I mix the breading and heat the oil.
Pour the oil at least 1-1.5 inches thick into a deep dish 10-12" cast iron pan. Turn the heat to medium and set to mixing the breading.
On a wide plate, combine the flour, cornmeal, and breadcrumb with a fork. Add salt and pepper (more than you are initially comfortable with). Dab some dry breading into your hand and taste it. It should taste slightly salty with a light kick from the pepper. If it just tastes like bland flour, add some more seasoning.
In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs, and pour in a splash or two of the buttermilk. It's tangy oomph will really help the green tomatoes shine.
When your oil is almost hot enough (the best test is to drop a tuft of bread into the oil and see if it begins to bubble and fry gently), dredge the tomato slices one at a time. First (and important!), put the slice into the dry flour mixture, coating both sides. Next, take the dusted slice and submerge it into the egg and buttermilk, coating completely. Then, return the slice to the dry mixture and coat it completely. Then, do a second dunk into the egg and buttermilk and then back into the dry breading.
Begin frying slices as they complete the breading process, by gently adding them to the oil. Maintain a medium temperature on your burner to avoid overheating the oil as you go. As the slices turn golden, flip them with tongs, and allow them to reach an even golden-brown color before pulling them from the oil with the tongs. Drain on a drying rack set over a cookie sheet.
Serve over butter lettuce with ranch dressing to top. Or add to your burger, your omelette, your BLT. Options abound.