When George and Gavin attended the North Carolina State Fair, they learned a basic fact about North Carolinians—be it sweet or savory, Carolinians prefer their food fried. I'd assumed that the purpose of state fairs was to celebrate agricultural victories (mind over gourd, prize heifers doin' cartwheels, layin' eggs, etc.). But when our two swains peered into the far reaches of the fair, all their eyes could see was long, long lines of fried food. Fried pickles, fried pumpkin pie, fried cheese, fried chocolate pie…the air must have shimmered with the grease of a thousand deep-fryers. Monet should have been there. Granted, George and Gavin eventually sighted a lone and neglected vegetable patch, but clearly, folks! Oil is still King 'round here.
Long live the King.
Last week was Thanksgiving, but it was also the week that George harvested the last of the green tomatoes. Suddenly our baskets overflowed with unripe fruit, and we wanted to eat it. So we did. Julia cooked 'em up Southern style, after turning up her freckled nose at a recipe requiring celeriac sauce as a dressing. We ate those green suckers with helpings of hot fresh Hungarian potato bread, cheese, and Tabasco sauce. Divinely tangy! We Yankees really loved it. A good farewell to a great growing season.
Adapted from a Moosewood Cookbook. I own 3. Beat that!
Fried Green Tomatoes
a bushel of extremely green tomatoes, sliced quite thickly (no ends)
finely ground cornmeal, 4 Tbsp.
all-purpose flour 2/3 Cup
1/4 Cup canola oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Spread out the slices on a large surface. Sprinkle generously with salt n' peppa. Turn over and repeat.
2. Heat up oil good and shimmering, but not smoking, in a fry pan.
3. In a wide bowl mix the flour and cornmeal. Dip tomato slices in this, covering each side completely. Shake off excess flour.
4. Fry tomatoes in batches of single layers. Don't crowd them. Fry 3 to 4 minutes on each side until a lovely golden brown. Drain off the grease on towels.
5. Serve hot and don't expect any leftovers! (Do expect your eaters to drool with joy.)
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