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More buttermilk: fried green tomatoes

Contrary to what I write in this blog, I do use other pans in my kitchen besides my skillet.  But when you are talking about food that goes with rock and roll--well, the frying pan is going to come out.  Probably, anyway.

So it's November after a long, warm autumn, and there are some green tomatoes around as folks finally take down their vines.  If  you see some in the farmer's market and you've never tried frying them up before,  you should give it a shot.  They're not low-fat, but they are delicious.  And with a side of mac and cheese (I told you this wasn't health food) and a little salad, you have a meatless meal that even hamburger-chowing he-men will enjoy.

Serve with the hot sauce of your choice and a little mayo-based buttermilk dressing


Slice the tomatoes horizontally, as if you were going to use them in a BLT--not too thin.

(B. Smith says to bake them briefly here, but that is totally unnecessary!  In fact, don't.)

Take out four plates or shallow bowls and in the first plate pour some buttermilk (shake up the bottle or carton first).
In the next plate put flour mixed with a little (trust me--this is the ONLY recipe in the world I use this for) Lawry's Seasoned salt.  The Galena St. spice mix from Penzey's would probably work, too, as would plain old salt and pepper.  

In the third plate an egg (or two if you have a lot of tomatoes) beaten with a good squirt of hot sauce.  In the fourth plate, corn meal (B. Smith uses bread crumbs.  That's good, too.)

Dip each tomato slice first in the buttermilk--let it drip a second--and then coat with flour.  Then egg it and corn meal it.  Try to use just one hand for this; it's messy work.  It's a smart idea to have a rack or a platter to put the tomatoes on as you finish prepping them for the pan.

THEN heat up the fat of your choice in the biggest, heaviest skillet you have.  You are not deep frying here, but you need and inch or so (maybe a little more) of fat in the pan.  I use part olive oil and part canola, or sometimes when I'm feeling super-sinful, part olive oil and (gasp) Crisco.  When the oil shimmers, start frying the prepared tomato slices, treating them gently, like hamburgers.  Turn them and brown on both sides.  Watch the flame so that you do not burn them.  If you have a rack you can put them on as they finish cooking, that would be a good thing.   You could also use a torn-apart paper bag.

THEN mix equal parts mayo and buttermilk with some black pepper and maybe a drip of chipotle sauce from some canned chipotles, or a bit of hot sauce or sweet pepper relish.  Plate the tomatoes with a drizzle of the sauce and a squirt of not-too-hot hot sauce.  Voila. 

Let someone else clean the kitchen.

See you on the air Friday at 3 PM!


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