Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love, love, love (did I say love?) these Fried Green Tomatoes

I feel sure I wasn’t the only reader whose heart leapt when recognizing that the new issue of Southern Living magazine featured a gazillion recipes for that Southern icon, fried green tomatoes.

Ever since the popular movie Fried Green Tomatoes debuted years ago, I believe the whole concept of frying green tomatoes—not waiting for their prime but picking them from the vine before they become bright red—and turning them into a major number of delicacies has captured the imaginations of many people.

My first cookbook, Way Back in the Country, features my cousin Yvonne’s recipe for a wonderful green-tomato relish that takes a bucketload of those green beauties and makes something worthwhile out of them.

Already being an appreciator, I was thrilled to see SL’s take on the definitive way to prepare Fried Green Tomatoes. (Kinda like finding the definitive recipe for Southern Fried Chicken—something that we all generally know how to do but appreciate expert coaching.) And since I have plenteous vines of green tomatoes right now, Hubby raced out to bring in a green handful so I could start to work.

Confession: I actually prepared these two nights in row but didn’t think the first batch was attractive enough to share with you. I’m not the best of beginners and typically do a much more commendable job of something the second-time around. Success! My remedial batch was golden to the core; the tomatoes cooked up much more tender.

Hubby and I could have eaten an entire skillet full; the healthy substitutions (instead of buttermilk, add 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar to a measuring cup and continue filling with skim milk until the mixture measures 1/2 cup) made doing so a little less guilt-inducing, but we restrained ourselves. Ditto the egg substitute and the salt substitute for a healthier prep. We threw some salt-free ketchup on top of these crisp goodies and had ourselves a feast. Thought we were in heaven!

Next to try, I hope: Sweet Green Tomato Cornmeal Muffins and Fried Green Tomato Po'Boys, all at SL’s prompting. As readers you can hold me accountable and make sure I get around to them.

Lengthwise, not Crosswise: Speaking of holding me accountable, one Dear Reader questioned yesterday’s Sausage and Peach Breakfast Casserole instructions, in which I mentioned that before placing the sausages onto the casserole batter you are to halve them crosswise. The sausages with which I tested the recipe are links, so you halve them LENGTHWISE! Thanks for keeping me accurate!

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 large egg, lightly beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar added to skim milk, as described above)
1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 medium-sized, firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
vegetable oil

Whisk together egg and buttermilk. In a shallow dish combine cornmeal, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup flour. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; then dip into egg mixture; and next dredge in cornmeal mixture. In a large skillet pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat oil to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. In batches drop coated tomatoes into hot oil and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt to taste. Makes 6 servings.

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