Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mom's Fried green Tomatoes VS Jeff McInnis

This is not for the squeamish, vegans or food elitist  

If you are looking for my typical Top Chef dishes...turn away and come back another day.
This is simple, down home country cooking.

Around 11 days ago. I made Chef Jeff McInnis's fried green tomatoes; Seemed like an easy dish to dive into the world of Top Chef. I loved the overall flavor, crunchiness and ease to make, but growing up with southern parents something was missing.

Tonight I made my mother's recipe for fried green tomatoes, along with gravy and homemade biscuits and pork jowl bacon. These are the flavors I remember, this brings me back to a time in my childhood. This is not a dish I would recommend to eat on a regular basis...and if you don't like pork fat...then you won't like this dish at all!

I am sure that there many regional, or even family recipes for these. I've seen corn meal and a variety of different methods to cook them. These are simple, back hills of West Virginia 'maters...

Dora's Biscuits


  • 2  3/4 cups of all-purpose  flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your wooden spoon, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, ( mom used the top of a drinking glass) being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pork Jowl bacon
I find it easier and crisper to bake, but mom always fried hers up in a iron skillet, you be the judge. If baking, place bacon in a shallow lined baking dish lined with foil in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until done. Reserve bacon fat for fried tomatoes.

Dora's Fried Green Tomatoes


 4-5 Large green tomatoes
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup of milk or butter milk
1  cups of all-purpose flour
Reserved bacon fat and Crisco for frying
Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 thick slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, set aside.
Dip each tomato slice in butter mil or milk, then dredge them in the flour.

In a cast iron skillet, heat bacon fat along with 2-3 tablespoons of Crisco over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tomato slices in batches to avoid over crowding, and fry, turning once until golden brown and crispy about three minutes total. Add more Crisco shortening as needed. Transfer the cooked slices to the paper towel lined wire racks. Blot dry and let drain.

Dora's "Biscuit" Gravy

Once the tomatoes are cooked pour off any excessive fat in skillet and leave 2-3 tablespoons worth. Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour and stir till browned. slowly whisk in milk (3/4-1 cup), continuing stirring till desired thickness( if too thick simply add more milk)

When I was young mom always used carantion evaporated milk and water, but I have found the flavor of 2% milk works fine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut biscuits, pour gravy over and serve with fried green tomatoes and bacon...a true southern treat!

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