Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies of all time, plus I’m obsessed with themed food – so it’s pretty surprising that I’d never made its namesake food and tied it into this 90s classic. There’s a lot of food in this movie, but, well, let’s just say it’s not all veggie-friendly.
I’m a total sucker for this movie, and for the book it was based upon. Maybe it’s the feminist themes – women looking out for each other and rescuing each other from abusive relationships, getting each other through thick and thin, developing aggressive alter egos borne out of utter repression – I mean, seriously, who hasn’t lived Kathy Bates’s “TOWAAAANDAAAA!” moment at some point?
On top of the whole thematic connection with the movie, I’m technically a good Southern girl. Honestly, if you could see me right now, you’d be laughing right along with me, because I’m not at all – but Virginia (even the northern part) is below the Mason-Dixon. So I take that as license to say things like “reckon” (which I do, with abandon, albeit without an accent) and to make things like fried green tomatoes without seeming like a total Yankee rube.
I did cheat on the recipe in one major way. One really, major, fundamental way.
I didn’t fry my fried green tomatoes.
Sue me, okay? I don’t have a garbage disposal, or even a fan or window near the stove. Frying is an endeavor that makes every single one of my 450 square feet smell like grease. As such, I don’t take it lightly. Above and beyond that, I do try to be healthy-ish for the most part, so it seemed to make the most sense, even on a hot day, to use the oven rather than the frying pot. It worked incredibly well here – the high-heat roast crisped the breading, while softening the hard, underripe green tomato into a flavorful, juicy treat.
There’s a vendor at my farmer’s market that sells green tomatoes every week, and after a weekend full of these, I think that Towanda and I will be her best customers. You know, as long as nobody steals my parking space.
- 4-6 green medium green tomatoes
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs*
- ¼ cup milk*
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and place a wire rack on the sheet. Spray the wire rack lightly with cooking spray and set aside (if you don't have a wire rack, bake on parchment or lightly sprayed foil, just turn halfway through)
- Slice tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices.
- Place the flour into a small bowl.
- Combine the eggs/milk* in another bowl.
- In another small bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
- Coat each tomato slice in the flour, then soak completely in the egg/egg replacement mixture. Coat thoroughly with the panko mixture and place on the wire rack.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and the tomatoes are tender. Serve with dipping sauce - remoulade or ranch are great with this.