10 Decadent Classic Southern Dishes
9. Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes became famous thanks to the 1991 hit film based on Fannie Flagg's novel. As gross as they may sound to the uninitiated, fried green tomatoes blend the savory of the breading with the light tartness of the pre-ripe tomato in an appealing way. They're great on a sandwich, by themselves, or even on a biscuit (which is the way I tried them for the first time). This recipe from Southern Living is a basic one -- some cooks add cayenne pepper to the batter or serve them with ranch. Personally, I prefer them sliced as thin as possible.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 medium-size, firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/4 lb.)
Whisk together egg and buttermilk. Combine cornmeal mix, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375° over medium-high heat. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt to taste.