Fried Green Tomatoes – Breading Tomatoes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,446
    Chef Shannon Overmiller demonstrates how to properly bread fried green tomato.

    Shannon Overmiller

    Overmiller began her professional career as a bartender and waitress at Proximo Restaurant Group's Austin Grill in Washington, DC. Realizing she craved more experience in the kitchen, she then made the shift to Cafe Atlantico, also part of Proximo, where she worked as a line cook while attending the esteemed L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. In 2002, she graduated and accepted a position at Ristorante Tosca under the direction of Chef/Owner Cesare Lafranconi. At Tosca, she quickly moved her way up from Line Cook to Pastry Chef to Sous Chef. With a desire to broaden her experience after spending three years at Tosca, Lanfranconi made a phone call to Chef/Owner Cathal Armstrong on Overmiller's behalf, which brought her to Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Chef Armstrong�s leadership taught Overmiller about the importance of local vendors and sourcing from local farms, along with honing in on her technical culinary skills. Armstrong added French techniques to Overmiller's Italian preparation, and soon she found a balance between both of her mentors� skills. As a 2004 Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation award recipient, Overmiller had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Italy and learn about ingredients and cooking techniques. She has proven herself in many kitchens and now, as the Executive Chef at the latest addition to the Armstrong's projects, which opened in May 2007, Overmiller continues to use the skills she has developed throughout the years.

    Shannon Overmiller: Hello, my name is Shannon Overmiller. I am an Executive Chef at The Majestic in Old Town, Alexandria. Today I am preparing for you fried green tomatoes, and this is the stuff, and I will show you how to properly bread fried green tomato. Hence, the fried green tomato is simply an under-ripe tomato. They are very popular in the Eastern Shore, Maryland, Virginia; all of the Eastern Shore upstate New York. Tomatoes, usually in season, fried green tomatoes are just for summer month, especially early summer for the fried green tomatoes, and now all the regular tomatoes are starting to really ripen. This is the probably the final step in the fried green tomatoes once you have done on your garnishes. So, you want a nice firm tomato, green bright in color, before its turning to orange, because this is the texture you want when you are frying your green tomato. It needs to withhold the heat of the oil, so when cutting tomatoes, you should always use a serrated knife with teeth because at flat knife the acid from the tomato will dull your blade immediately. Begin cutting you tomatoes, save this for salads, stock or pickling. Pickling green tomatoes is a wonderful method to utilize your scrapes of tomatoes. You want your tomatoes sliced about half-an-inch thick, may be little thicker depending on what you like, I like them about a half an inch. At the end, mindful of your hands, reserve, so at this stage with your tomatoes what you want to do, you have three components to breading, this is a classic breading technique. Always the same always, always. For one you want to have your seasoned flour, I like to season my flour for fried green tomatoes with salt, pepper, black pepper, a touch of cayenne, a little paprika, a pinch of cinnamon, and pinch of nutmeg, a little bit of semolina or even whole yellow cornmeal, because it gives that nice texture. Second, in mixing bowl, you want to take two eggs, two whole eggs; this is perfect time to utilize the white that I reserved from the aioli, and butter milk. Just make enough for the amount you need. I like to add a little salt to this stage too, again layering, it is very important, and black pepper, maybe a touch more, its good, just mix with a whisk. Your third component is just simply fine breadcrumbs, you can use scrape bread and grind them up or purchase some plain breadcrumbs. I dont like seasoned breadcrumbs. I like breadcrumbs to be plain, because this as you see, it affects the texture, does not come out quite as crispy, and I dont like anything else thats seasoned ahead of time anyway. So, when breading, simply dry it slightly, your flour mixture, release excess flour, dip in into the egg mixture, coat, and then into -- with the other hand lets dry the breading, and you want this to be compact, so it adheres to the fry oil, and this is how you bread a green tomato. Repeat.