The story behind Doubler Dipped Fried Green Tomatoes
Officially, it’s not summer anymore. But here in the first part of October, Sonoma County is still getting plenty of warm during the day, with cool nights. This is our fall. And I still have a bunch of tomatoes on the vine. With the cooler nights, it’s likely many of them won’t ripen fully, so it’s time for another one of my very favorites…Fried Green Tomatoes, or in my case double-dipped fried green tomatoes.
The other day I was having lunch with a girlfriend, and they had fried green tomatoes on the menu. I ordered them and she commented, “I’ve never had a fried green tomato before”.
Really? In 67 years, you have never eaten a fried green tomato?
So as I was getting ready to write up my recipe I really got to thinking, how many people haven’t had a fried green tomato? And where would you get green tomatoes if you didn’t grow them? So I did a little research and have come up with this answer.
I don’t know and you can’t.
I went to the local markets, Oliver’s, G & G, Whole Foods, nope they carry green tomatoes, but ones that are supposed to be green, not unripe ones. I went to the Farmer’s Market. There were a couple of places that said they would get bring them for you, on request. I looked online. No online deliveries of green tomatoes.
And that’s the key point. These tomatoes have to be unripe. Not a ripe green heirloom tomato. Hard to the touch. Unripe.
Easy enough to find on your backyard plant, not so easy in the retail world.
But if you are lucky enough to find them this is the recipe for you!
But that is the beauty of fried green tomatoes. The unripeness gives it such a great acid and flavor inside the crunchy fried coating. Any variety of tomato will work, best of course if they are large in size, easier to cut.
Did you know there are over 150 varieties of tomato?
My Double Dipped Fried Green Tomatoes have a wonderful crisp coating.
The secret is, I use two different coatings, of fine cornmeal and panko breadcrumbs mixed together in the same dish (I don’t like to dirty up extra dishes, do you?) and then I double dip in the buttermilk to coat.
I don’t know how this works exactly, but when I dip the tomato into the buttermilk and make the first pass on the coating, the panko crumbs seem to adhere first, then I dip again and put into the coating and the cornmeal adheres.
I did all my first dips first, then my second dips.
Worked perfectly. I’m going to say, it’s got to do with the weight of the coatings. But whatever the reason, it made a beautiful crispy crunch. The perfect texture to go with the soft, slightly tart tomato inside. YUM.
The coating can be left fairly basic, as I did. I simply salt and peppered the tomato slices, dipped in buttermilk then coating, then buttermilk, then coating. Let it sit for a few on a wire rack to set the coating and then into the oil. You want a lively oil; about 375º F. with enough depth to cover the tomato about half way up. Cook until one side is browned and crisp, then carefully turn (you don’t want to knock off the coating) and fry the other side. Remove to the wire rack and let them sit for a minute or two to drain any excess oil and voila…Double Dipped Fried Green Tomatoes at the ready.
At the restaurant, they served their fried green tomatoes with some ranch dressing and a little dish of hot sauce. I just served mine with a little bit of roasted chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. Perfect Sunday night dinner.
Double Dipped Fried Green Tomatoes
4 large unripe tomatoes (any variety will work, but they must be unripe so regardless of the variety, they will be green)
1 cup cultured 2% buttermilk, or as needed
1 cup fine cornmeal, or as needed
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
Salt and pepper, to taste
LindySez: You can add flavors to the coating as you wish, a little thyme is good, as is cumin and chili powder. You could also add some tobasco or another hot pepper sauce to the buttermilk. This recipe is very versatile to your taste and to what you are serving it with.
Ranch Dressing, Blue Cheese Dressing or whatever else you might like to dip this into, optional
Slice the tomatoes about 1/3 inch thick. Nice slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Pour the buttermilk into a shallow wide bowl, mix the cornmeal and panko together in another bowl. Set a wire rack over a cookie sheet.
Dip the tomato slice into the buttermilk coating both side. Dip into the coating mix. Set on the wire rack. Repeat with all the tomato slices. Once they are dipped, repeat, dip in the buttermilk and then the coating mix, now they are double dipped. Set on the wire rack for about 10 minutes to allow the coating to set.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. This oil should be about 1/4 inch high. When hot, (about 375°F) add the tomatoes, in batches if necessary, don't overcrowd the pan, there should be a lively sizzle. (I find, when working with fried foods such as this, it's best to use the clock approach to adding food to the pan, first piece goes at 12:00 high, then 1:00 etc. so you know where you began and where you should start the turning process.) Once one side has browned, carefully turn and brown the other side. Remove the cook tomatoes to the wire rack to drain. Serve plain or with dipping sauce.
Want to make these? Here are a few resources for you to get your own, unripe tomatoes 🙂