Taste the single bite that won barbecue legend Melissa Cookston $5,000 at the Kingsford Invitational Barbecue Competition?
In 1992, “Fried Green Tomatoes” premiered at the Cobb Galleria Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. Fans of the movie started showing up at Irondale Cafe to taste the fried green tomatoes, and The Birmingham News ran a photo of a couple of the cooks holding baskets of green tomatoes with the caption: “Seen the movie? Now taste the title.” Current Owner Jim Dolan estimates the cafe serves about 600-800 slices of fried green tomatoes, paired with a remoulade dipping sauce, each day.
Mix egg and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix flour, cornmeal and salt in a shallow dish. Working in batches, dip tomato slices into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into dish. Coat with flour mixture. Fry in hot bacon drippings (375 degrees F) in a large heavy skillet until browned, turning once with tongs. Don’t crowd the skillet when frying green tomatoes. Keep them in a single layer, with plenty of space in between slices. If too many are put in the pan, the oil temperature will be lowered and the food will absorb the grease rather than be seared by it, resulting soggy tomatoes. Transfer to a colander to drain. Serves 6.
2 quarts mayo
4 oz. Ketchup 4 oz. Creole mustard
2 oz. chopped fresh parsley
2 oz. cayenne pepper
2 oz. lemon juice2 oz. horseradish
2 oz. fresh chopped garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 1/2 Tbsp celery salt
1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 2 minutes. Makes over two quarts.
Fried green tomatoes photo by Judy Baxter, Old Shoe Woman on Flickr.
8 cups water 2 Tbsp. coarse salt 5 cups peeled watermelon rind (leave a thin layer of pink), cut into 1/2 x 2-inch pieces 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup cider vinegar 1 tsp colored peppercorns 8 pieces whole cloves 1/2 tsp pickling spice 2 pieces long slices fresh gingeroot In a large pot, bring water and salt to boil over medium-high heat. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to a large metal bowl. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cider vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice and gingerroot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for one day. Transfer to a glass jar and keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes about 4 cups.
2 thick slices of bread (your choice), toasted 2 Tbsp. pesto sauce 2 slices cheddar cheese 1 2/3-inch thick slice seedless watermelon, about the same size as the bread 2 thin slices of tomato 4 slices cooked crisp bacon 2 butter lettuce leaves Spread the pesto over one side of each slice of toast. On one slice of toast, stack the cheese, watermelon, tomato, bacon and lettuce on top of pesto. Place the other slice of toast, pesto side down, on top of the lettuce. Cut in half and enjoy. Serves 1.
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 24-36 frozen, prepared mini meatballs 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce 1 cup watermelon puree* (see note below) Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat or electric skillet set on 325 degrees. Sauté the mini meatballs until browned and hot. Reduce heat to low. Mix together the barbecue sauce and watermelon puree. Pour over the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6-8. *To make the watermelon puree, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in a blender and process until smooth and well pureed.
1/3 glass watermelon puree, chilled* 1/3 glass Chardonnay, chilled 1/3 glass sparkling water, chilled 1 watermelon ball Combine ingredients in a wine glass and serve immediately. Serves 1. *To make the watermelon puree, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in a blender and process until smooth and well pureed.