Cream peas (also called crowder peas or cowpeas) with salt pork,
…and my beloved fried green tomatoes (oy vey, I know: the movie! enough already with the movie!).
Okay, that’s obviously not my photo. But I recently broke my camera, so you’ll just have to bear with me until it’s fixed. Besides, that’s a pretty good representation of how they came out. Just…not with quite such an elegant presentation, jar of Tabasco and what-have-you.
Richard doesn’t care for the tart green tomatoes or their cornmeal and buttermilk batter, but that’s okay — more for me! The recipe is simple enough and is oh-so-satisfying after a long day.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Serves: 2 (or 1, if you’re a piglet like me)
1 green tomato
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. buttermilk
salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes
Slice your tomato into at least four thick slices. If you can get more slices out of it, more power to you. Just make sure they’re about 1/4 of an inch thick.
In a bowl, mix together your buttermilk with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. I use about three good pinches of kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper and about 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. But I like my tomatoes spicy and peppery. If you don’t, just omit the red pepper flakes. If you like them really spicy, make sure to mash on those flakes (put them in your palm and rub them with your thumb) before you throw them in, to release even more flavor.
In a pie pan (it’s just easier this way, okay?), spread an even layer of cornmeal. Begin battering your tomato slices with buttermilk first, then cornbread. Make sure they’re well coated on both sides and on the rind.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add about a half-inch of vegetable oil when the pan has gotten hot. Gently put your tomato slices into the hot oil and let cook for four to five minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels before serving. Add a little pinch of salt and a lot of freshly-ground black pepper to the fried tomatoes and dig in!
Your tomatoes will be crunchy and crispy on the outside, warm and melty and succulent on the inside. It’s the perfect pairing of textures, and the tartness of the tomato is absolutely wonderful on a hot day. Especially when it’s served with a soft, buttery slice of cornbread!
See? This is what happens to me when summer rolls around each year and I can get all the quality foods of my youthful summer months spent in East Texas: I turn into freaking Paula Deen. Oh, well. At least I’m enjoying the hell out of the summer produce while I experience my mid-year transformation into half-crazy, middle-aged, drawling, David-Yurman’d-within-an-inch-of-her-life, owns-stock-in-Aqua-Net, Southern lady. The regular me should return sometime around September…
Fried green tomatoes picture courtesy of www.liketocook.com.