The culinary world identifies five basic flavors, salty, savory, sweet, sour and unami. We generally understand the first four but the fifth is a little more difficult to explain....for some folks. However if you enjoy Southern food, the unami experience begins with a green tomato.
The drought of 2012 has hit the midwest hard. Farmers are plowing under dead and dying crops. Backyard gardens struggle without decent rainfall. Watering is fine but there are nutrients in rainwater you just can't get from your faucet. A friend had to pull out some of his tomato plants due to disease to the foliage. But what to do with the tiny, little green tomatoes? Don't waste them, email the fried green tomato freak to COME AND GET'EM!!
Fried green tomatoes are simplicity. Fill a plastic bag with equal parts flour and cornmeal. Slice your tomatoes roughly the same thickness so that they fry evenly. Place the slices in the plastic bag with your flour/cornmeal mixture and shake so that your slices are evenly coated. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. I use a mixture of bacon grease, canola oil and lard but you can use straight canola or peanut oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the tomato slices.
Fry until golden on both sides and drain on a rack. Salt and consume immediately.
I know the French have their fries but give me fried green tomatoes all day long. It's that flavor explosion of not just salt but the combination of tomato's distinct hot summer flavor on the back of the tongue fried to crunchy tender goodness.
Meet your hot Southern bar snack. Bet they'd taste oh so good with an icy cold barley pop.