fried green tomatoes

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

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This year my tomato crop was such a bonanza that we ate tomato-something almost every day!

I am not complaining. Fresh garden tomatoes are among the treasures of the food world.

But it’s getting on in the season, the weather is turning, the Jewish holidays are around the corner and hundreds of those little things will never ripen from green to red in time.

I made some chutney of course.

I like fried green tomatoes in a sandwich but the cherry tomatoes are too small for slicing, coating and frying.

So I tried making them whole.

Yes!

Crunchy outside — and when you bite in, you get spurts of sweet-tart juicy tomato.

Terrific as an hors d’oeuvre. If you have extra, little, green tomatoes, try this:

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • lemon juice

  • 18-24 small green cherry tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup matzo meal or breadcrumbs

  • salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder to taste

  • vegetable oil

Combine the mayonnaise, basil and a teaspoon or two of lemon juice in a small bowl. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. Set aside. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Place the flour in a bowl, add the tomatoes and toss them around to coat them completely. Beat the egg and hot sauce together. Immerse the tomatoes into the egg and roll them around to coat each one completely. In a bowl, combine the matzo meal with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Add the egg-coated tomatoes a few at a time and roll them around to coat them completely. Place the coated tomatoes on a cake rack or other surface for at least 20 minutes, to “air dry” slightly. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan to a depth of about 2-inches. When the oil is hot enough to make a crumb sizzle quickly, add the tomatoes, a few at a time and cook them, turning them occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the tomatoes and set the on paper towels to drain. When all the tomatoes are fried, serve them with the basil mayonnaise.

Makes 6-8 servings

Fried Green Tomatoes

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I go out to my garden now and it's still warm, like summer. But the leaves on big maple trees in the back are starting to turn and I can see the vague copper tips. It's that transition season when you want to grab the last of summer but your head understands that autumn is coming.

I've picked dozens of luscious tomatoes in the last few weeks, but there are still some green ones hanging on the vines. Do I wait for them to ripen and have the last few precious bites?

What if there's a sudden frost! That happened to me last year and all my tomatoes were ruined.

Here's what to do: use some green tomatoes and leave just a few to ripen and hope for the best.

In the past I've baked green tomato pie, fried green tomato slices, baked green tomato slices, made green tomato pickles and cut green tomatoes into different kinds of chutney.

This year I decided to pack them into a sandwich.

Dee-lish.

Fried Green Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich

  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with one teaspoon water
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 12-16 slices green tomato (about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 4 Portuguese rolls, sliced
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven broiler or outdoor grill with the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut them into quarters. Brush the pepper pieces with the olive oil. Broil the pepper pieces, turning them occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until charred. Remove the pieces to a plate. When cool, peel off the skin.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place the beaten eggs in another dish. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish. Coat the tomato slices with flour. Shake off the excess. Dip the coated slices in the beaten eggs, covering the slices completely. Coat the slices with the breadcrumbs. Place the tomato slices on a cookie sheet or baking rack to air dry for at least 15 minutes. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Place the rolls in the oven to warm them up for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven. While the rolls are warming, mix the mayonnaise and basil together. Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise on the bottoms of each of the rolls. Top each with 3-4 tomato slices. Top each with two roasted pepper quarters. Top each with equal amounts of the cheese. Finally, cover with the top of the roll. Place back in the oven for a minute or so to slightly melt the cheese and serve.

 

Makes 4 sandwiches

I’m good at indoor plants. Phalaenopsis love me. My Christmas Cactus flowers every year on schedule. The Ivy is thriving. I even grew new Croton from branch roots. 
 Outdoors? Not so much.  
 Whatever I’m doing is not the right thing to do. Every year I plant tomato plants. I get one or two tomatoes at the end of the season. 
 Like the one in the photo (of two in my garden).  
 It’s probably because I plant them too late. I buy them early but I really hate gardening so the plants sit on my kitchen counter for a couple of weeks and they are already in a sad state by the time I get them outdoors. 
 In any event, two green tomatoes aren’t enough for pie or chutney. And I have enough red tomatoes from someone else’s garden. So I decided to make fried green tomatoes as a side dish. Only I didn’t want to fry, so I baked them instead. 
 Quite yummy. 

 Baked Green Tomatoes 
 2 medium to large green tomatoes 
 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
 salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste 
 1 large egg, beaten 
 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha 
 1-1/2 cups Panko or corn meal 
 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Slice the tomatoes about 1/8-inch thick. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix to distribute the ingredients thoroughly. Coat the tomato slices with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess. Beat the egg and Sriracha in a dish. Dip the coated slices in the beaten egg mixture, covering the slices completely. Coat the slices with the Panko or corn meal. Place the tomato slices on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tomatoes over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Makes 4 servings

I’m good at indoor plants. Phalaenopsis love me. My Christmas Cactus flowers every year on schedule. The Ivy is thriving. I even grew new Croton from branch roots.

Outdoors? Not so much. 

Whatever I’m doing is not the right thing to do. Every year I plant tomato plants. I get one or two tomatoes at the end of the season.

Like the one in the photo (of two in my garden). 

It’s probably because I plant them too late. I buy them early but I really hate gardening so the plants sit on my kitchen counter for a couple of weeks and they are already in a sad state by the time I get them outdoors.

In any event, two green tomatoes aren’t enough for pie or chutney. And I have enough red tomatoes from someone else’s garden. So I decided to make fried green tomatoes as a side dish. Only I didn’t want to fry, so I baked them instead.

Quite yummy.

Baked Green Tomatoes

2 medium to large green tomatoes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

1-1/2 cups Panko or corn meal

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Slice the tomatoes about 1/8-inch thick. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix to distribute the ingredients thoroughly. Coat the tomato slices with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess. Beat the egg and Sriracha in a dish. Dip the coated slices in the beaten egg mixture, covering the slices completely. Coat the slices with the Panko or corn meal. Place the tomato slices on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tomatoes over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Makes 4 servings