Thanks so much for all the sweet comments, guys! I chose a winner with a random number generator, and the winner is Rachel! Her favorite southern dish is fried chicken - I love it too! Rachel, please email me when you get a chance (bettyjoslyn at gmail dot com)!
Speaking of southern foods, so many of you said fried green tomatoes. And I have to admit, they are one of my favorites too. I made them for the second course of our beer pairing dinner, and I topped them with a scoop of pimiento cheese (another one of my favorite southern foods!). Like I said in the original post, while this was one of my least favorite beers, it was probably my favorite pairing. The creaminess of the cheese and tanginess of the tomatoes really cut through the bitterness of the pilsner. It was a perfect example of food making beer taste better.
I used the trusty Lee Bros. for this recipe, and they didn't let me down. I'm normally not one to fry food, but in this case I made an exception. The tomatoes are first dipped in the Lee Bros special fry-dredge, then dipped in a milk-egg mixture, and then given another coating of the fry dredge. They are so delicious, and so addicting. The next day, I couldn't stop thinking about these, so I picked a few green tomatoes off of my own plant and made a batch for Joey and me to share. I liked doing them this way because the tomatoes were pretty small, and it was like eating little chips. :-)
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
- 3 lbs green tomatoes (about 6-8 medium)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 cups peanut oil
- kosher salt, if needed
- lemon juice, if needed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corneal
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the milk and eggs in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, until the temperature on a cady thermometer reads 365 degrees Farenheit. If you use another sized skillet, fill with oil to a depth of about 1/3 inch).
Heat the oven to 225. Set a bakers rack on top of a cookie sheet.
Spread the dredge in a large pie plate or baking pan. Taste the tomatoes. They should have a bright tartness like citrus fruit. If they don't, sprinkle with a little salt and lemon juice.
Press 1 tomato slice in the dredge, coating both sides, and shaking off excess. Dunk in the egg mixture, then dredge both slices again in the flour mixture. Shake off aniy excess and place on a clean plate. Repeat with more slices until you have enough for 1 batch (4-5 slices). Using a spatula, transfer the slices to the oil.
As the first batch cooks, dredge the next set of tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have cooked to a light golden-brown on one side (about 2-3 minutes), use tongs and flip. Cook on the other side until they are golden-brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and allow to drain for 1 minute.
Transfer the slices to the baker's rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tomato slices, and serve immediately.