Monday, June 10, 2013

Fried Green Thangs

Guys, I say "thangs."  I say it a lot, but really I'm not southern at all.  I do like the South though and because I have a pulse, I also LOVE southern food.  With the recent opening of this year's local farmer's market, I've had fried green tomatoes on my mind; easily my favorite southern thang!

I also thought, why not pair it with something lovely and cheesey?  Earlier this year, we went to Greenville and ate at a charming restaurant where their amazing fried green thangs were served with a helping of perfect pimento cheese.  While I had never seen this combination before, I've since realized that it's not uncommon at all--and for a good reason.

Tangy, fresh, fried green tomatoes with the perfect complementary dressing of sharp, smooth pimento cheese.  Is your mouth watering yet??

Pimento Cheese
8oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
4oz soften cream cheese
3 TBSP sliced pimentos (find these near the pickles at the grocery store!)
2 TBSP mayo
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp onion powder

This one's easy: combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Fried Green Tomatoes
1 lb firm green tomatoes
1c buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1TBSP white vinegar)
1 egg
1c cornmeal
2 TBSP white flour
olive oil
Cast-iron skillet (you can find these at any Cracker Barrel for a great price!)

Slice your tomatoes slightly thick, about 1/4 inch, and layer them in a baking dish or large bowl.  Whisk the buttermilk (or milk and vinegar, which is what I used) with the egg and pour over the tomato slices.

Let them sit in their milk bath for 5-10 minutes,and meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  You just need a dash of salt, pepper, and paprika, or to taste.  Coat your skillet with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil, and heat it over med-high heat.  

Drain the excess milk/egg mix from the tomato slices and dip each one in the cornmeal mixture, coating each side lightly.  Now fry 'em up! It should take a couple minutes per side.

After removing the tomatoes from the skillet, place them on a paper towel-lined plate, then serve quickly.

These are amazzzing when warm, but  not so much once they have cooled, so it's a good thang to have your pimento cheese ready ahead of time.

Go fry some thangs, and let us know how they turned out!

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