I'd never cooked fried green tomatoes, before making them for this post. I'm not entirely sure if I'd ever eaten them before this, either.
I'm a Northern girl: I was born and raised in New York City, I've spent the past 30+ years in Michigan, and even my ancestors all come from Canada and from Northern Europe. Southern food is a beautiful thing when it comes to barbecue or cornbread or pimiento cheese or pecan pie! But items like grits and okra ... not a fan. Although I knew it was possible to cook them, unripe tomatoes always seemed to find themselves on my "naughty" list, too.
And so, I would usually just let my green tomatoes ripen rather than making use of them "as is." I lumped them into a category with other foods you need to be raised on to really enjoy.
But you know what? These were pretty good! I was missing out on a quick, easy, lovely side dish all these years!
A sprinkle of chili powder in the cornmeal coating added a bit of "oomph," and complemented the sauce - a simple mix of sour cream and pico de gallo - perfectly.
Who knew? I guess you just have to keep trying new foods, to see what you might like, what you might have developed a taste for, what enticement you might be depriving yourself of ....
Chili 'n' Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- generous splashes of Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, medium grind
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 medium green tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup pico de gallo
Combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a small flat bowl. Combine the egg, water, and Tabasco sauce in a second flat bowl. Place the cornmeal, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and chili powder into a third flat bowl.
Slice the tomatoes about 1/3" thick, discarding ends.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice by slice, coat the tomatoes first in flour, then in egg, then in cornmeal; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or so per side, until coating is golden and crisp.
Stir together sour cream and pico de gallo.
Serve the tomatoes topped with the sauce.
Serves 2-4 as a light lunch or a side dish.