Archive for the ‘Southern’ Category

Fancy Fried Green Tomatoes

I attended a wedding a couple weeks ago for two good friends I’ve developed since moving to North Carolina. A fairly significant portion of our friendship is based on a love of and fascination with food: we’ve explored North Carolina farms together, swapped recipes, and enjoyed a wide variety of Triangle restaurants. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that their wedding included not one, but two meals, the first an Indian buffet to celebrate Varsha’s culture, and the second an elegant array of quintessential American cuisine to celebrate Eric’s.

I’ve heard people say that no one will remember the food at a wedding, that people have simply come to expect a good meal when they attend a reception. The food at this wedding, however, was anything BUT forgettable. We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore, and then after a few minutes, everyone squeezed in just a little bit more because the food was so. dang. good.

And my favorite treat was not an entreĆ©, not a dessert, but one of the passed hors d’oeuvres for the second meal: a fried green tomato dressed up with a bit of pimento cheese and mint jelly. I was so impressed that after seeing a large pile of green tomatoes at the farmers market the next week, I snatched up a couple to re-create them at home.

Simple green tomatoes

Now work with me on this one. I was really, really skeptical when this tray came around. For one thing, I had never eaten a regular fried green tomato before. I don’t particularly like red tomatoes, so I guess I’ve never felt inclined to try a green one. Don’t worry, I now know I’ve been MISSING OUT for years. I guess I’ll just have to compensate for all that lost time by making these all the time.

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As a junior in college, I moved out of the dorms and into my first apartment. I was thrilled to flex my baby culinary muscles beyond what they could make in a microwave or a contraband toaster, so my friend and I marched to the grocery store to see what there was to see. And what there was to see was Jiffy corn muffin mix, for twenty cents a box. We bought about a dozen boxes and a 2-pack of cheap muffin tins so that each of us could make cornbread at any hour of any day with our new-found kitchens.

Several years have passed, and my kitchen has come a long way since those first cornbread-baking days (though I still have that very same muffin tin). I still make this tasty treat quite a lot, though I haven’t bought a box of the Jiffy for years. Why? Because I discovered it’s just as simple to make it from scratch as it is from a mix. Seriously.

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