I’ve been having some trouble with my lower oven, and I finally had a repair person out yesterday because I’m at the end of my troubleshooting abilities. Of course I could’t get it to replicate the problem when the repair person was at my house. Last time it happened, I was cooking bacon in the oven above it. I cooked a pan of bacon to see if that would get the lower oven to malfunction – so of course I had to decide what to do with the bacon. I decided on a BLT, but after having to go to the store anyway for lettuce, I grabbed some green tomatoes to make it a fried green tomato BLT. I’m going to post the recipe to the sandwich next, so I’ll add the link here one I do that (update: here’s the BLT).
Deep frying can be dangerous because of fire hazards and risks of burns from oil splatter. The UDSA has some good information on deep frying safety. I always have my fire extinguisher handy. Also make sure you know how to put out a grease fire. This post from The Kitchn has good information about grease fires. (Another post for another time, but I caught olive oil on fire in an overly preheated sauté pan several months ago.)
I don’t have a deep fryer, so I used my stock pot with a candy thermometer. I like using the stock pot because it’s deep and reduces the risk of lots of oil splatter beyond the bounds of the pot. Using a thermometer is important not only because you don’t want the oil to get too hot, but using oil that isn’t hot enough results in oily and soggy batter.
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Fried Green Tomatoes
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside. Set up another baking sheet under a wire cookie cooling rack.
- Add oil to the deep fryer or a large heavy-bottomed pot. I used about 1 inch of oil. Make sure you have plenty of room (at least 2 inches, but more is ideal) between the top of the oil and top of the pot. Begin heating the oil until it reaches 350-375°. Important: If you’re not using a deep fryer that regulates its own temperature, keep an eye on the oil temperature as you do the rest of these steps.
- Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and set aside.
- Place a kitchen towel on the counter. Place one tomato slice onto the towel, and fold the towel over so it completely covers the tomato slice. Press down onto the tomato slice with your hand to get some of the excess moisture out of the tomato. Repeat for each tomato slice.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, masa harina, white pepper, cajun seasoning, paprika and salt) in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add beer and whisk to combine.
- Take each tomato slice and coat in batter as follows, then set aside on the parchment-lined baking sheet:Coat with dry ingredientsCoat with beer/egg mixtureCoat with dry ingredients againCoat with beer mixture againCoat with dry ingredients again
- Carefully place tomatoes in the frying oil one at a time, allowing sufficient room between them so they can swim around freely. I don’t fry more than two pieces at a time in my stock pot. Flip each tomato slice over as the underside begins to get golden brown (I used a fork to flip). Once the tomato slices are golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil using a spider strainer (or your deep fryer’s basket, but sometimes this is a little cumbersome/deep for tomato slices) and place onto the wire rack to drain.
- Serve with desired dipping sauce.