Photo Credit: Ashley E. Cummings
If it's fried, it must be crunchy! Have you ever been served some soggy fried chicken? Not the best experience. When tackling fried green tomatoes, I wanted to make sure that the final product had (and maintained) that crunch that everyone loves. Classically, I think these bad boys are tossed in flour and cornmeal, but I reached for some panko (AKA Japanese bread crumbs) to get the desired texture.
I did a standard breading procedure which involves dusting seasoned tomato slices in seasoned flour and then coating the slices in an egg and milk mixture. Finally, the slices get the final coating of panko and cornmeal. I seasoned the flour with salt, pepper, red pepper, and Old Bay...homage to Baltimore!
Usually recipes reference using a fairly shallow frying pan so the tomatoes are not completely submerged...which I don't get. I actually staged (worked for free) at a renowned local restaurant that served fried green tomatoes as an appetizer on their seasonal menu. They deep fried the tomatoes to perfection. If I had a deep fryer in my home, I would have done the same. I cooked the tomatoes in a good amount of vegetable oil. I was almost able to submerge them, but I was running low on oil...too lazy to go out for more.
They crisped up quickly in the 350 degree oil. It was about 3 minutes on one side with an addition 1/1 and a half on the other. When they came out (shout out to the Supreme Court!), I placed them on a paper towel and seasoned them again with salt and Old Bay. I was sure to not overcrowd them. The panko helps ensure they stay crunchy but not overcrowding fried foods is just a good basic practice.
Because I love sauce, I bootlegged an aioli. I blended some mayonnaise with lemon juice, salt, white pepper and wah-lah!...bootleg aioli!
Serve these ASAP! Make them a feature on a salad. Use the "aioli" as a dressing. Eat as a snack. Enjoy as a side. Just get these delicious, crunchy bittles into the stomachs of you and whoever you like to/have to feed. R.I.P. Jessica Tandy.