This time of year, green tomatoes are available at the local farmers’ market. I usually chop them up for a Caprese salad or fry them. There’s no standard southern style for fried green tomatoes. Like pimento cheese, recipes differ from region to region and from family to family.
I prefer tomatoes that are breaded in a mixture of flour and corn meal and are pan-fried. Tomatoes that are deep-fried with a batter coating seem to overpower the sweet taste of the tomatoes in my opinion. And there are a lot of great dipping sauces out there, but I think fried green tomatoes taste best with a rémoulade.
The best rémoulade I’ve ever had was at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. It’s all over the menu. Since I can’t track that recipe down anywhere, I’ve come to rely on a Cajun version that goes well with fried green tomatoes. It’s really a cheater recipe because it calls for mayonnaise instead of oil and eggs, but it’s as easy as it is good. You can scale it up or down to meet your needs.
Fried Green Tomatoes With Cajun Rémoulade
- ⅓ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoons sour cream
- 1½ teaspoons catsup
- 1½ teaspoons creole mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¾ teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- ¾ teaspoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
Just mix everything together in a bowl. You should do it the day before if you can, but I never remember.
When I fry my tomatoes, I usually make the crust out of equal parts corn meal and bread crumbs with a little salt and spices mixed in. Here’s everything you need to coat the green tomatoes:
From left to right, we have flour to coat the tomato slices, eggs, cream and a little Dijon mustard to make the egg wash, and the cornmeal, flour and spice mixture for the crust. Most people add their spices to the flour, but I like to add it to my crust mixture. That’s what your tongue touches when you eat it. I usually sprinkle in some salt, cayenne and paprika.
Slice the tomatoes at least 1/3 inch thick, if not larger. Discard the top and bottom slices; they won’t hold any crust.
Heat some canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. While the oil is warming, start making your tomatoes. Coat both sides with flour and shake off the excess. Next, dip both sides of the tomato slice in the egg wash and shake off the excess. Finally, coat both sides in the crust mixture and place them in a tray next to the saucepan. This can be a little messy, so you want to set up an assembly line. It’s times like this when my movable island comes in really handy.
To see if the oil is hot enough, stand the wooden spoon handle upright in the pan. If the oil bubbles like crazy around it, it’s good to go. Carefully slide the tomatoes down the side of the pan and into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will drop too much and the tomatoes will come out soggy.
They cook quickly, so don’t walk away. Use two wooden spoons to flip them. You’ll get the timing right after a batch or two. Place them on some paper towels to cool. Remember, people will only see the tops of the tomatoes, so only one side needs to be really pretty.