Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes with Garlicky Ranch Dressing

This classic southern U.S. dish is all about tomatoes that are crispy outside, tart and tender inside, and delicious all by themselves. For this recipe, I kept the southern theme going with a simple ranch dressing to drizzle over the fried tomatoes. Easy, tasty, homey, and just plain southern good.

Serves 4


For the Ranch Dressing
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the Tomatoes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • flour, for dredging
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup panko, or other fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large green tomatoes (1 lb total), cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup canola oil
Green Tomatoes
Sliced Tomatoes

For the Ranch Dressing
  1. Place the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with sea salt. Use a fork to mash the garlic and salt together to form a chunky paste. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, and chile flakes and season with black pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (May be made a day ahead.)                       
Mashed Salt and Garlic 
Garlicky Ranch Dressing
For the Tomatoes
  1. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk.
  2. Spread flour on a large plate or in a baking dish. Combine the cornmeal, panko, salt, and pepper in a baking dish.
  3. Dredge the tomato slices in flour. Dip in the egg mixture, and let excess drip off. Press into the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides.
Set up the Breading Station
Breaded Tomatoes
  1. Heat a deep, 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot (about 375° F), fry the tomatoes until golden and crispy outside and tender inside, about 4 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the oil.
  2. Transfer to layers of paper towels and drain. Season generously with sea salt.
Tomatoes Beginning to Fry
Tomatoes after Turning
To serve, drizzle the tomatoes with dressing, or serve the dressing in small bowls alongside.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Garlicky Ranch Dressing

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