You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food—Paul Prudhomme
Have you ever fixed a dish and, not exactly wanting it to fail, but just not wanting it to be as good as your traditional way of cooking the particular dish so you could say to the uppity chef, “See our way is better.”?
Well, this happened last night.
I love fried green tomatoes and nothing says “southern cooking” to me like a good plate of fried green tomatoes. The love being doled out by the operator of the iron skillet in preparing this delicacy would fill up a number two wash tub.
Usually there is some combination of eggs, flour, and cornmeal for the coating and of course the thinly-sliced green tomatoes have to be in just the right place in the space-time continuum on its way to ripeness. I have been frying these up for years, sometimes using only the frothed egg white for adhesion or the whole egg. Sometimes I use only cornmeal for coating but never just flour. Most folks in the south have their traditional way of serving up this dish, but no matter which way you fry your green tomatoes, you always felt it was the best way…because of tradition. Your mom did it this way or your grandma, or even your great-grandma, or just a kindly neighbor.
But along comes Bobby Flay, that brash New York chef who grew up in Manhattan. What would he know about frying green tomatoes? Well evidently, a lot. I really hate to say it but these are the best fried green tomatoes I have ever eaten.
I want to apologize for that last statement to all the southern cooks who have lovingly fed me fried green tomatoes over the years and have helped guide me into maturity at your tables, of course Mrs. Big Surf is saying that is still a work in progress.
Mr. Flay uses flour, BUTTERMILK???(not any part of the egg), and PANKO???(no cornmeal…someone help me I’m feeling infirmed). The combination of flour, buttermilk, and especially the Panko elevated these fried green tomatoes to a level of Southernness, like no other.
Sorry Marita. (Who served me the first fried green tomatoes I ever ate as a young lad and until last night, the best I had ever eaten.)
Okay Bobby, just work on losing that New York attitude and accent and I will feel better when I fix these fried green tomatoes again.