Friday, October 3, 2008

Hey Sweetheart, What are Those Green Things you got There?

Public transportation is great. I would almost go so far as to say I prefer trains and busses to personal automobiles. Except when I'm feeling nauseous and I need to go get something from the other side of town.

The constant stop and go of the train is not unlike being stuck in traffic, except that in a car you typically don't have three dozen strangers up in your very personal space. Also, interaction with commuters is different. On the highway, "Hey lady, move it!" is muted by a separation of at least 10 feet and your two automobiles. On the train, "Hey gorgeous, give me a smile" or, "Hey, I've got HIV, give me some money" is 10 inches from your face (10 if you're lucky) and probably grazing (just grazing, if you're lucky) some part of your body. The Midwesterner in me is inclined to grin nervously and make a donation. But since I'm a New Yorker now, I try to force a furrowed brow and shake my head like I don't comprende. And when I'm feeling nauseous, I try not to throw up.

Point being - as much as I am a proponent of the train, if I'm going to take it during rush hour for one little errand while I'm feeling queasy, I better be able to find what I'm looking for on the other side. It's green tomato time of year, and I was seriously in need of some fried green tomatoes. September is usually when they turn up, but they had been surprisingly scarce on my recent outings. Green tomato season is such a big tradition in my family, and once a year we feast. I was starting to get worried I would miss their window.

Thankfully I didn't, and had a satisfying green tomato dinner last night. Here's how my family taught me to make the perfect fried green tomato:

Recipe for Veronica's family Fried Green Tomatoes:
  • Green tomatoes
  • Italian-style bread crumbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Egg yolks + water for egg wash
  • Flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and cracked pepper

Slice the green tomatoes to about 1/2 inch thick. Prepare bread crumbs: if you use fresh bread crumbs, be sure to season generously with oregano, basil, parsley... any dried Italian-style herbs you've got. Season bread crumbs with salt and pepper; if I have fresh parsley I'll snip some and throw it in, and usually I'll add some additional dried basil and oregano. Finely grate a generous amount of cheese and mix in with the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet (not non-stick). Dredge each side of the tomato in flour, then egg wash (about 2 tsp water per yolk; more water if it gets too thick), then the bread crumb mix. Fry tomato slices in the skillet over low heat, about 20 minutes per side. The key is to fry very, very slowly, and to a golden (not too brown) color. The trick is to do it low and slow. Of course these pair nicely with a big steak, but I can eat them for a whole meal.


Laura Hickman said...

I remember the first time I ate Fried Green Tomatoes.....that first Fall I was in MN. Bette made them for me.....they were delicious! Oh, how I'm missing you guys right now....

Anonymous said...

Dear sweetie,
I am so sorry you had to travel all the way across town for your Green Tomato fix- but I love it that you are determined not to let New York come between you and them. A killing frost is coming, so I had to harvest the greenies from the back yard. We will feast tomorrow, thinking of you.
Love, Mom

Veronica said...

I love you guys! Thanks for being so wonderful.