How to Master the Best Fried Green Tomato

Easy ways to perfect this classic Southern recipe

Fried green tomatoes are a Southern delicacy of lore—so famous they've been the star of books and movies. The crispy, golden discs are crowd-pleasing Southern comfort food at its finest. Add vine-ripe green tomatoes to a salad or salsa for pops of bright color and tangy-sweet flavor. Add a fried slice to burgers, sandwiches, or even po'boys. (We add Cajun seasoning to the breading for more delicious flavor.)

Fried green tomatoes are a classic food that every cook can—and should—master. And perfecting this Southern staple doesn't have to be tricky. Follow a few quick-and-easy tips, and you'll make perfect fried green tomatoes time after time. First, swing by the farmers' market for the freshest selection of ripe, homegrown green tomatoes. Pick out medium-size, firm tomatoes, which will hold up better during the dredging and frying process. Cut the tomatoes into slices, and dredge them in flour. Next, coat the slices in an egg-and-buttermilk mixture, and then dredge them in a third cornmeal mixture.

To fry the coated slices, our Test Kitchen recommends using a cast-iron or electric skillet with ¼- to ½-inches of oil. (Don't drown the tomatoes in grease.) Fry only a few at a time, turning them once, and remove from skillet when the coating turns a golden brown. Drain the fried slices on a paper towel; then arrange them on a platter and serve fresh. Drizzle hot sauce over the crispy tomatoes, or pair them with a savory buttermilk-feta dressing. Guests will be lining up to fill their plates with these crunchy, hot-off-the-skillet delicacies.

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