If you haven’t seen the movie before, I highly recommend watching it. It is one of my favorites and I could watch it many times over. Generally it is about women overcoming adversity and gaining empowerment. (Hey, did you know that you can’t spell empowerment without women!) It is really a lovely story that takes place in the south, and is narrated in the present and portrayed in the past. Listening to Ninny Threadgoode’s voice is part of the reason why I love this movie so much. You see my Granny (my dad’s mother) was from Mississippi, she was born in Natchez, and she had the most beautiful southern draw. She was also a real talker, she would talk to anyone and everyone. One of her well known sayings was something like “there aren’t strangers, only friends you haven’t met” I think this is why my dad also has a fondness for this movie. That and the fact Terry Allen’s wife Jo Harvey plays a small roll in it.
Surprisingly, with out southern roots, fried green tomatoes weren’t something we grew up eating. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I had some green tomatoes left over from making chow and I had seen the movie a hundred times, that I decided to try making them. I found a recipe in the Joy of Cooking and tried them out on Josh. We both enjoyed them, so I decided to make them for my parents. My dad was pretty jazzed and they both really liked them as well. Now they seem to have become a staple for our summer barbequed ribs.
As I said, I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but it is the All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking edition. My mom has an older edition which doesn’t have the recipe. My friend Audrey has a really old edition that among some other really wild stuff, tells you how to skin a rabbit! ( I think that’s what it was. Am I right in saying that Audrey?)The one I have was published in 1997.
We have modified ours a bit and technically they’re baked not fried. We used to fry them but I recently made these and thought making tomatoes this way would be easier. It always seemed like such a production to fry them. This way you can make a large batch all at once and use 1/4 of the oil so they are much healthier. In fact everyone seemed to like these ones better!
Oh, I must note, that I have noted to myself, that 1/2 the recipe was enough for 7 tomatoes. So you may want to start with half, and make more as needed.
Preheat oven to 425′ and generously oil (olive oil) as many baking sheets lined with parchment paper as you will need. We used 2 large sheets for 5 large tomatoes.
Cut green tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices
Combine in a shallow bowl:
2 cups fine cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Dip the tomato slices one at a time into:
2 eggs and a bit of milk
Then coat with cornmeal mixture and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 min. and flip. You may need to add more oil if they have absorbed it all on the first side. Bake for another 15 min till they are a light golden brown.
Now enjoy! If you have any leftovers, they make a really mean sandwich!!