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ERIN SULLEY: Ever watch a movie that made you want to cook?

I’m bringing you on a foodie trip, all the way down to the Whistle Stop Café in the southern United States with fried (well, baked) green tomatoes. PAUL PICKETT PHOTO
I’m bringing you on a foodie trip, all the way down to the Whistle Stop Café in the southern United States with fried (well, baked) green tomatoes. PAUL PICKETT PHOTO

Have you ever tried friend green tomatoes?

If not, you are missing out, full stop. I’m so excited to write about this recipe today. Not only is it delicious, but I’m totally having a nerd moment because one of my favourite books growing up (and movie) is "Fried Green Tomatoes."

Actually, you should watch the movie as you make this tasty dish. The storyline is wonderful and Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary Stuart Masterson are a fantastic trio on the big screen.

Four steps to your fried green tomato dipping line. Hot tip: shake off excess ingredients after each step. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO
Four steps to your fried green tomato dipping line. Hot tip: shake off excess ingredients after each step. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO

“Secret’s in the sauce.” – Sipsey, Fried Green Tomatoes

Wait, now that I think about it, if you have a weak tummy perhaps you shouldn’t. For those who know the story, you get it.

Can you believe it’s November? Last weekend, we spent a full day in the garden clearing summer away and harvesting the last of our veggie garden offerings. It’s a sad time of year isn’t it?

I love what autumn has to offer but I get a little blue knowing our summer nights are long gone. Now, the only thing giving our veggie garden colour are the leaves falling off our trees.

I couldn’t wait any longer for my tomatoes to turn red — so I picked them. I’ve never had this many green tomatoes before so I went searching for a recipe that tingled my taste buds. There are so many green tomato recipes. There’s everything from green tomato and apple chutney, corn green tomato fritters, green tomato ketchup, Moroccan tomato jam, green tomato muffins with cheese, green tomato curry sauce — it’s never ending.

I wasn’t looking for something to bottle, I was looking for something to eat that evening. Then it hit me — fried green tomatoes from the Whistle Stop Cafe!

Fried green tomatoes is said to be a southern United States recipe. However, an article in Bon Appetit said the movie made everyone think that’s the case, when in fact they first appeared in 19th century northeastern and midwestern cookbooks.

There’s truly nothing like homegrown tomatoes. After slicing them for this recipe, I kept the seeds for next year’s crop. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO
There’s truly nothing like homegrown tomatoes. After slicing them for this recipe, I kept the seeds for next year’s crop. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO

“If you like good ol’ fashion southern soul food then, yes, I am a cook.” – Dolly Parton

At this point, you might be thinking, "I’m not sure about this." Trust me, it works. Green tomatoes aren’t like ripe red tomatoes. They have a crunchy texture, can be a little tart and they aren’t juicy like red tomatoes.

It delivered all the flavour I was looking for and more. Like the actors in the movie, you may even end up talking in a southern accent while cooking. Or is that just me?

Like most recipes, there are different versions. I used a recipe from a website called A Spicy Perspective. It’s a simple recipe which takes no time to make.

All you have to do is get your dipping line organized and you’re all set.

To begin, preheat the oven to 400 and cut four unripe tomatoes into a quarter-inch rounds. Set out three bowls. In the first, pour in a quarter cup of flour. In the second, one and a half cups of panko breadcrumbs and for the third, mix together three quarters of a cup of buttermilk, two tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, one teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of ground cumin.

Prepping ingredients beforehand is essential when trying new recipes. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO
Prepping ingredients beforehand is essential when trying new recipes. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO

“If tomato is a fruit, is ketchup a jam?” – Unknown

First, dip your tomatoes into the flour, then the buttermilk mixture and then the panko. Make sure to shake off excess with each dip. After you go through this process with each slice, place them on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.

When that step is complete, drizzle more olive oil on top of the green tomatoes and place them in the oven for 15 minutes, flip over slices and bake for another 15 minutes until they’re golden brown.

Look at that! Perfectly baked green tomatoes in a mouthwatering crispy batter. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO
Look at that! Perfectly baked green tomatoes in a mouthwatering crispy batter. ERIN SULLEY PHOTO

Foodie tip: I didn’t have buttermilk on hand. Solution? Pour one and a half tablespoons of white vinegar into whole milk and let it sit for at least five minutes. Viola! Homemade buttermilk.

Don’t forget your dip. I served mine with chipotle mayo as I prefer a little spice. If that’s not for you, try ranch or Caesar. Fried green tomatoes will be your new fav recipe whether you’re looking for a snack, appetizer or a side dish. Either way, it’s definitely fit to eat. Enjoy!

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email [email protected] Twitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley

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