I’m sure that many of you have heard about the southern tradition involving fried green tomatoes, but have ya ever tried ’em? Well, even if you have, I’m sure most of you have always used the standard full-sized tomatoes like Big Boy, Better Boy, etc. Hey, I’ve always did the same thing, because that is all I have ever heard people talk about, when concerning this blissful, fried dish of tomato madness.
Well, the other day I got a little creative after realizing that a few of my tomato plants turned out to be Roma tomatoes, and did a quick test-cook to see if there is a better alternative for fried green tomatoes. Oh, if you are wondering, Roma tomatoes are small, pear-shaped tomatoes that are often used in sauces and/or during cooking (also known as Italian tomatoes) because they are more meaty and contain less seeds and juice. I don’t prefer them over the common, larger tomatoes when it comes to eating them in a ripe state or in salads, etc., because they just don’t have the juice and robust flavor like the others. But we are not talking about red tomatoes here…
Anyway, here is a quick snapshot of some green, Roma tomatoes, below:
Another reason why I decided to try this, is because I thought that the meatier Roma tomatoes would fair better when fried, as opposed to the traditional, large, juicy tomatoes. At any rate, I couldn’t help but notice that these smaller tomatoes would also be easier to maneuver and flip around in the skillet, sort of like when you fry squash, zucchini, and/or okra, for example (it’s obvious I’m from the south, eh?). But anyway, there is only one way to find out, right? So I started to slice these little devils…
After you have sliced ’em up in about 1/4th inch slices, it is now time to add the batter. Unlike most people, I choose against the whole “egg wash” hooey, as I have had the best flavor and texture when battering wet food directly into the batter, as opposed to using the pre-batter egg/milk dip thingy. Although I think my simple batter is the best in the world, you can use whatever type you desire. I prefer yellow corn meal mixed with a decent amount of seasoned salt, black pepper and a few tablespoons of sugar.
I suppose I could show an image of the battered & seasoned green Roma tomatoes, but I think you have a pretty good idea of what that may look like.
Well, it is time to cook, so have a large skillet ready with the oil of your choice (I prefer canola oil), preheated of course, and fry those suckers until golden brown on each side. After they are done, drain on a plate with paper towels and season to taste with salt, pepper, hot sauce (even ketchup, if ya like) and/or whatever floats your boat.
To cut to the chase, the verdict is in: Roma Tomatoes, even though it may not be as popular, make for the best fried green tomatoes I have ever ate. If cooked right, they almost seem like “tomato chips,” however that may sound. Hey, check out the finished product below:
Side Note: When I originally wrote this recipe, it was at the peak of garden season and I had plenty of green tomatoes at the time. However, the other day, since it is still winter time, I applied this same cooking method to some store-bought Red Roma Tomatoes and it still turned out good. They wasn’t as firm, but still fairly tasty. Since store-bought tomatoes are usually bland, I compensated by adding extra seasoning to the batter; cheers!
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Semi-related Blog Link: “Buy Stainless Steel Skillets, Frying Pans, and Cookware Online“