Remember that old movie – ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’? Ever since seeing it back in the early 90’s, I have wondered what such a thing might taste like. Well, it’s mid-October, and through my friends at Joy Creek, I happened to have access to some green tomatoes, so here was my chance to try some out – over two decades later. Once I decided to give it a shot, I got kind of excited about it. I asked friends if they liked them, how they made them, and what it was usually served with. Then, I combined those answers with that customary recipe search on the interwebs. I usually read a few, and then draw from several of them. This time was no different. The one I settled on, for a base line, was this, from Divas Can Cook. (I ended up using the panko/cornmeal blend instead of seasoned crutons.)
In my thoughts leading up to this adventure, reinforced by reading many seemingly bland recipes, I had somehow decided that a dipping sauce offering a little mild heat would be in order. I had also gotten some Banana peppers from the gardens at Joy Creek, so I roasted them on the grill the night before. For some reason, I thought cilantro might be more intriguing with the peppers than the recommended basil. Thus, I made the sauce first.
I guess I can say that my very first venture into this traditional southern American dish was a success – even if I didn’t stick with pure tradition. It was tasty, the slices had a wonderful crunch (lots of good tips offered by Monique in the recipe – thank you for that), and everyone was happily chowing down on the result. The only downside to my experience has nothing to do with either recipe or execution. Beware – if you decide to do this in a kitchen without a functioning exhaust fan, your house will provide evidence of your culinary foray for days to come. I probably won’t do this again until after we renovate the kitchen. Mind you, this is probably what kitchens smelled like, back in the day, in villages and small towns down in the South – no doubt adding to the memories of a culture largely gone by, and the authenticity of the experience.