Tomatoes have been involved in a bit of a PR nightmare lately. First there was the tomato-salmonella scare, and then all fried foods, specifically fried green tomatoes, were banned at this year's Democratic National Convention. If you're not making it to the convention and want to indulge in fried green tomatoes today, try this recipe, which uses a cornmeal crust and has Cajun seasoning in the mix for additional Southern flare.
Fried green tomatoes are easy to veganize, and the results are actually better without an egg wash, which many people may think is necessary. With just a cornmeal coating, the result is much crunchier than what you get with extra, unnecessary ingredients. And if you are trying to achieve that perfect, golden, crispy coating, then you might want to listen to this advice from Wikipedia. I'm no Alton Brown, but the Wikipedia folks seem to make a pretty good case:
"The tomatoes are then pan fried in vegetable oil up to a depth slightly shallower than the thickness of the slices. This keeps the tomatoes from floating, allowing gravity to hold the cornmeal to the bottom side. Oil may be drizzled over the top to allow it to firm up also."
You can enjoy these on a sandwich, as I did, topped with anything from Vegenaise to tempeh bacon. Or try them on their own as a snack or meal.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 small green tomatoes1/2 cup yellow cornmeal1 tsp. salt1/4 tsp. ground black pepper1 tsp. Cajun seasoning3 Tbsp. canola oil for frying
•Cut each tomato into 3 thick slices.
•In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.
•Dredge both sides of each tomato slice in the cornmeal mixture.
•Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the tomato slices over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.
•Set aside on paper towels to drain.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
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