Frying green tomatoes is a great southern tradition. Every family seems to have their own special way of making them, but this recipe seems to satisfy the average southern traditionalist at the "how mom made them" standard. So if you are too impatient to let those tomatoes turn red on the vines, or you are having a craving for the tangy fried treat, this easy method should hit the spot.
2-4 Medium sized, very firm, unripe green tomatoes
1 Large egg
2-3 Tbs water or milk
1/2 Cup cornmeal mix
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil for frying
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a cast iron or heavy skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Place brown paper or a paper towel on a tray or plate and set aside.
For the traditional Appalachian-style dry batter: Whisk an egg and a couple of Tbs of water together in a bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the cornmeal mix, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper. Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and dunk in the egg mixture to coat, then dust all sides well with the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any excess cornmeal and place in the hot oil. Turn once, cooking both sides until golden-brown. Place on the paper to cool a bit, but serve warm.
A wet batter is traditional for some families, so here's the method for those if you prefer a thicker breading on your fried tomatoes: Mix the egg, milk, cornmeal mix, flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl to make a thick batter. Drag the tomato slices in the batter until coated on both sides. Fry in the hot oil until crispy and browned.
Sweet Pepper Sauce:
1 Cup of oven roasted sweet peppers and onions*
Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and thick. Add a little water if necessary.
*To make the roasted peppers and onions, remove stems and seeds from sweet peppers, then slice. Toss together with sliced yellow onion, a little oil and season with salt. Bake at 375 degrees until the peppers and onions have browned on the tips.