There have been cooks, caterers, and chefs in my family for generations. I too became a sister of the skillet and a master of the range, and like most with a degree of culinary skills, I have a few favorites in my repertoire: one is pie.

Pie was my challenge, my nemesis. I worked at pie making, perfecting the technique, but it was never quite right or good enough. Then I happened on to an unusual recipe. Instead of using ice water as the liquid in piecrust it called for sour cream.

“What? Sour cream, you say?!" Of course, I tried it and was amazed. I tweaked the recipe and won a local pie-baking contest. I had a pie booth at a fall festival and baked 300 pies, tarts, and galettes—including lollipies—small, heart-shaped pies on a stick. I did much the same for the holiday festivals, year after year.

Writers write what they know. I hope you will download a copy of my free pie recipe book, Miss Euphrates’ Pies.

Contact us if you would like to share your recipes.

I recently went to a bridal shower where the future bride received three kitschy aprons—pinafores with piping around the edges, printed fabrics of cats, roosters, and lavishly iced cupcakes—colorful and amusing graphics that were appealing. They were throwback garments similar to the garb seen on those early television family shows: I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, Hazel, and others.

All the young women there laughed and oohed over the aprons as if they were lingerie, and perhaps they could be . . .

I wondered what movies these young women had seen that conjured up images of ladies in aprons, so I asked. They answer in near-unison, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” the movie based on the Fanny Flagg novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café—a foodie novel about women’s lives. When I first read the book, I’d never eaten fried green tomatoes. I’m a New Englander. We wait for our tomatoes to ripen. I never gave it much thought.

A few years ago, I was dining at a lovely local restaurant that offered fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. I had to try them, even without the requisite bib apron. They were amazing, served with a picante buttermilk sauce. Oh my! Why had I missed out on these for so many years? Of course, I had to figure out how to make Fried Green Tomatoes, and I’m pleased to share my recipe with you.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Makes: 6-8 servings
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Ingredients for the Fried Green Tomatoes
4 Green Tomatoes
3 c Panko Breadcrumbs (or Gluten Free Breadcrumbs)
1⁄2 c Cornmeal
5 T Creole Seasoning
3 Eggs
2 c Canola Oil (for frying)
Ingredients for the Picante Buttermilk Sauce
1 c Mayonnaise
1 c Buttermilk
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 clv Garlic (fat garlic, finely minced)
1 Zest of Lemon
1 t Creole Seasoning
1 t Kosher Salt
1⁄2 t Freshly Ground Pepper
1⁄4 c Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (Freshly Grated)
1⁄4 c Chives (Finely Chopped )
Utensils
  • 2 Cookie sheets
  • White tea towels
  • 3 small mixing bowls
  • Stainless steel frying pan

Green Tomato Preparation

  • Line two cookie sheets with clean white tea towels. Slice the tomatoes approximately ¼-inch thick, and lay them on the lined cookie sheets.
  • Cover with another clean white tea towel, and let them sit for 2-3 hours. The towels with soak up any excess moisture from the tomatoes.
  • About two hours before you plan to fry the tomatoes, transfer the tomato slices to a bowl, and re-line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Next, blend the cornmeal and Creole seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Beat the three eggs in another small bowl.
  • Fill a third small bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  • Line up the bowls and trays as follows: Tomato Slices, Cornmeal/Creole Seasoning Mixture, Beaten Eggs, Panko/Breadcrumbs, and Parchment-Lined Cookie Sheets.
  • One slice at a time, dredge it into the seasoning mixture, coating both sides. No need to be terribly fussy.
  • Next, dip it into the egg mixture.
  • Now dredge the slice in the breadcrumbs, thoroughly coating each side.
  • Lay the coated tomato slice on the cookie sheet. Once all the tomatoes are coated, let them air dry for at least an hour so the coating will adhere well.
  • When ready to fry, heat the oil in a stainless steel lined frying pan; note that using a cast iron pan darkens the tomatoes a bit, which is why I prefer stainless.
  • Fry in batches until they are done on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer each batch to a platter in a warm oven.

Buttermilk Picante Sauce Preparation

  • Wisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and cider vinegar together.
  • Mince one clove of garlic and add to the mixture.
  • Grate the zest of one lemon into the mixture.
  • Add the spices and seasonings and thoroughly whisk.
  • Pour into a small serving pitcher, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
Serving notes

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Great as an appetizer with a glass of iced tea or a cold beer on a summer day, or . . . Serve as a side dish with grilled pork chops, and corn salad—freshly steamed corn, cut from the cob and mixed with chopped onions, celery, black beans, fresh basil, and jalapeños in a lime vinaigrette.

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