Perfect Fried Green Tomatoes. You're Welcome.

When I was a kid, we always had a garden.

I grew up on a farm, and I remember the rows and rows and rows of corn, tomatoes, squash, watermelons, green beans, onions, lettuce...

A typical meal might be green beans and new potatoes, corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes, and cornbread.


I could still eat like that every day of my life and be perfectly happy.

Well, except for the days I want Hibachi.  We didn't have that on the farm.

Since I made the transition from farm girl to full-fledged SUV driving, capri-pant wearing, cookie-baking suburban Mama, I've tried a couple times to grow some vegetables.

The first time I planted two tomato plants that were promptly eaten by squirrels.

The second time I tried to create my own version of raised beds in some old tires and thought I might have something going on there until wild blackberry bushes grew up all around them and I couldn't get to them for several months and forgot all about them till the fall when the bushes died and I found one giant mutant squash that was bigger than the tire it was growing out of.

Suburbia, my ass.  It's a jungle out there.

I've given up - for now.

Now I buy my fresh vegetables from an old guy with no teeth and no shirt who sets up a stand on the side of the road and charges $5 for three tomatoes but it's totally worth it and I forgive him because he always has mums for cheap in the fall, and since I kill plant several of those every year it's a fair trade-off.

Well, except the part where he doesn't wear a shirt.  Ain't nothin' fair about old-guy belly.

Anyway, I stopped the other day and got some green tomatoes, and came home ready to cook and eat them all.

Except I'm apparently a failure in the kitchen.  I was out of flour.  And cornmeal.  Both of which I needed.

So anyway, I embraced my inner farm girl and did what we do best - I improvised, I used what I had, and I succeeded.

These were by far the best fried green tomatoes I had ever made.

2-3 green tomatoes
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
a couple dashes paprika (ok, you don't really need this, but it gives the whole recipe a certain "I have lived in the world and met a spice that is not salt" flair, doncha think?)
Canola oil for frying

Slice the tomatoes and put them into a bowl.   There is a definite art form to this.  I prefer my green tomatoes sliced somewhere in the 1/4 inch thick range.  Any thinner, they burn.  Any thicker, they don't soften enough in the middle.  Use a ruler if you have to.  Or not.  After your tomatoes are sliced, cover them with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Let them sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour.  Sometimes I do this step a day ahead.  You can cover them and put them in the fridge, then they're ready whenever you want.

After your tomatoes are finished soaking in the salt water, mix the corn muffin mix, Bisquick, salt, pepper and paprika in a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Drain the tomatoes and shake off the excess water, then toss 'em all in the bag and give 'em a good shake or three, till they are all coated.   Take them out and lay them on a baking sheet or similar, and let them sit for at least 20 minutes.  There is probably some scientific reaction happening at this point, but all I know is if you skip this step and go straight to frying, all your breading will fall off in the oil.

After at least 20 minutes, heat your 1/2 inch of oil over medium heat in a deep skillet, then fry them up, a single layer at a time, until they are golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

Eat them, fresh out of the skillet while standing over the sink, between two slices of white bread like God intended.

No, really. I'm pretty sure it's in the Bible somewhere.


  1. "...like God intended." Amen. There better be fried green tomatoes heaven. (That is presumptuously assuming there will be a Dawn there, too.)


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