Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Chipotles in Adobo Sauce


Fried green tomatoes became an overnight sensation in 1991 after the movie by the same name. Green tomatoes are actually unripe tomatoes, not a particular variety of a tomato. Traditionally, before the first frost, all the tomatoes were picked, even the green ones, to prevent them from freezing on the vine. Now unripe tomatoes are picked green to make fried green tomatoes.


There are many recipes for fried green tomatoes, including those that use Japanese panko bread crumbs for breading, others deep fry the tomatoes, or use bacon drippings.

Our breading is on the simple side and we serve our fried green tomatoes for breakfast with bacon and eggs. We shallow fry the tomatoes in a minimum of fat rather than deep frying them. During the summer fried green tomatoes are also nice served with a sauce for dipping as part of a luncheon dish with a green salad and corn on the cob.

These fried green tomatoes have character. We think it is important to taste the tomato, not the breading. The cornmeal/flour breading produces a golden, crisp tomato with a simple, not heavily breaded exterior, and a savory, juicy tomato interior.


There are some tips to making good fried green tomatoes. First, salt the tomatoes right before you bread them. Salting foods in advance brings out the moisture and make them soggy when cooked. Second, a pinch of sugar in the breading takes away any bitterness from the under-ripe tomato. Third, just as anything that you brown, you want to make sure not to crowd the pan or the food will end up soggy. And finally, serve them as soon as you take them up. Fried green tomatoes must be hot. As they come to room temperature, the breading turns soggy.  You can see that most of the tips revolve around the word "soggy."  That makes sense because no one wants to eat a soggy tomato.

I’ve included what is referred to in our kitchen as “Meakin’s famous chipotles in adobo aioli sauce.” This is a very versatile sauce and can be used for many dishes, including a dip for fried green tomatoes. We use the sauce in fish tacos, dip boiled shrimp in it and serve them as an appetizer, or use it in place of mayonnaise where you want a kick of extra spice or smoky flavor. We puree the entire can of chipotles in the adobo sauce in a small food processor and store them in a jar in the refrigerator. They seem to last forever.


Fried Green Tomatoes 
From My Carolina Kitchen

My version of fried green tomatoes is a simple one and doesn’t require much of a recipe. I start by making a dredging mixture of three parts yellow cornmeal to one part all-purpose flour, a pinch of sugar, and a few shakes of cayenne pepper on a sheet of wax paper and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.

I slice the tomatoes right before I dredge them and salt them at the last minute. Coat both sides of the tomatoes in the cornmeal/flour mixture, then sauté them in a non-stick skillet that’s been preheated with a little bit of canola or other neutral tasting oil in it. You don’t want to crowd the skillet, so you may have to cook the tomatoes in batches. Shallow fry the tomatoes, turning half way through so both sides brown evenly. When done, remove the tomatoes, salt them once again, and serve immediately.

If you are making more than one batch, plate the cooked tomatoes on a heat-proof plate or platter large enough to hold the tomatoes without stacking them and keep warm in a 150 degree F oven. If you stack the tomatoes they will get soggy.



Meakin’s Famous Smoked Chipotles in Adobo Sauce "Aioli"
From Meakin – My Carolina Kitchen

¼ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise, or homemade mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip)
½ cup sour cream, we use low-fat
1 teaspoon or more pureed chipotles in adobo sauce
Pinch of kosher salt
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon honey

Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and taste for seasonings. Too much honey will make it sweet & ruin it. The purpose of the honey is to temper the fire from the chipotles in adobo sauce. You should not be able to taste the honey. The finished sauce should have a nice, smoky flavor. The sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for several days.



This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, and Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper.

Have a great weekend everyone.



39 comments:

  1. I was raised on fried green tomatoes. They are as much a part of early autumn as are pumpkins and other winter squash. I haven't had Meakin's sauce though. Sounds perfect.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. I'll never forget that movie:) You've made me want to watch it once again..
    I've never made a fried green tomato..should try..Keeper sauce !

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  3. One of my favorite childhood dishes. We also had them only in the fall. Not sure why we didn't make them in summer. Did you omit garlic from the aioli recipe? I thought it had to have garlic.

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  4. Like Bonnie, most of us Southerners ate fried green tomatoes long before the movie, but it's nice that the movie taught the rest of world about another great southern food. So glad it's finally time. Am planning a batch for dinner tonight.

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  5. Know what I like better than fried green tomatoes - almost nothing, but I have never had them for breakfast, which must be corrected. Your version sounds delicious as does the aioli. My family used to get together for green tomato frys with three cast iron skillets in use. After slicing, they got S&P, dredging of plain flour and fried until crispy. We ate them on a slice of buttered bread. I thought they were awesome, but have since discovered the crispier coatings and dipping sauce.

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  6. I love fried green tomatoes!
    I am still upset that hurricane Sandy forced me to abandon my plans to visit Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, last fall. I am still dreaming of the best FGT I've ever had, sold through a small window on Crafters Row.

    The idea of using Japanese panko bread crumbs makes me laugh out loud. ;-)

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  7. Mmmmm, mmm! I am hungry now! Love, love fried green tomatoes, and with that sauce, they have to be great! That's just about a perfect meal to me!!! Just wish my better half liked them...

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  8. I have heard so much about fried green tomatoes, but never had it...how it that possible? And yes, the sauce, I already see myself dipping these fried tomatoes in it...yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a lovely week Sam :D

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  9. I like that movie and the dish too! These look crisp and moreish with aioli sauce, Sam.

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  10. Well, my mouth is watering! They look and sound wonderful. And the dipping sauce sounds great too!

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  11. I haven't seen any fried green tomatoes at the market yet this year. How I miss my garden.

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  12. Oh yea, guess I'll be asking the boys for a green tomato or two:@)

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  13. I'm in North Carolina at the moment, and just had fried green tomatoes! That pinch of chipotles is brilliant!

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  14. I have grown very fond of fried green tomatoes recently.....These look fabulous. Eating them for breakfast is just that much better.

    I realized this past garden season that there is a fine line between a green and growing tomato and a ripe a getting rotten. Picking a few green tomatoes and frying them up is a good way to use summer tomatoes.

    Love, love it.

    Velva

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  15. Dear Sam, These look wonderful. I love fried tomatoes. This is the first year that I tried fried tomatoes and love them. Yours with with sauce look great. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  16. Mouthwatering! That is something I have never eaten, but I bet it tastes amazing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. Nothing better and nothing more southern! Love Meakin's Aioli! What a super dip for those tomatoes.

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  18. Yummy! Going to try this out soon. Love it!

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  19. Yummy! Going to try this out soon. Love it!

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  20. The only version I've ever made is Tyler Florence's version. Such great tips, Sam! If only I could find green tomatoes! I never thought to make them for breakfast, and it's a great idea. Meakin outdid himself with the photos. Well done.

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  21. I love fried green tomatoes Sam. Your method is spot on and Meakin's aioli sounds fabulous.

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  22. Our tomato season in the Northeast is so short, that we never seem to have green tomatoes around! But, this is something I should try. I always order fried green tomatoes when I can, and I love your philosophy that one should taste the tomato more than the breading! This will put my morning cereal to shame ...

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  23. Oh my don't they look good!!!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  24. I like the idea of making fried green tomatoes with a little spice. I never did that. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us on foodie friday.

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  25. I have always avoided these because of the soggy issue and the crumb always fell off. Sounds like you have addressed my problems. The sauce sounds wonderful also.

    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon
    MakeMineLemon

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  26. I really appreciate you went out of your way to explain the purpose of the honey and that you're meant not to taste it.

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  27. Oh my goodness . . . lunch time here and I certainly wish I could have these for lunch today! I don't think I've seen more delicious Fried Green Tomatoes anywhere; beautiful photos!
    Thank you for the recipe and the tips Sam.

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  28. i love using adobe sauce but with smoked peppers! YUMYUM! The tomatoes are right up my alley and I could just reach into that screen and eat them all:) LOL!

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  29. I have never actually had a fried green tomato yet. I'm not avoiding them, I just haven't had one. Seems like one would go well on top of a burger.

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  30. The
    chipotle sauce is a magnificent addition!

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  31. I have never tasted fried green tomatoes, but everyone says they are great. You've inspired me to try them!

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  32. Ohh Sam!! I've got green tomatoes on the vine and all the other ingredients!! can't wait!
    Mary x

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  33. I love, love, love fried green tomatoes. Totally pinning this! Congrats on being featured at Foodie Friday.

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  34. My oh my. Interesting that we just finished lunch and now all I can think of is a fried green tomato! Sam, our favorite kind of way to fry these. I've not done a sauce with them, but now must try this from Meakin. Hope you two have a wonderful weekend.

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  35. I have to admit, I had never heard of fried green tomatoes until the movie. And I've made them once, not knowing what I was doing and loved them. I do appreciate your tips with the salt/sugar. I'll be making more this fall.

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  36. I guess finding green tomato is not that easy here in Indonesia,
    i cant wait until my garden tomato got the mature size, it's still a buds now..
    can't wait to give this recipe a try!

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  37. Looks fabulous! I can use this recipe, I have a lots of green tomatoes in our back yard.

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