Corn cakes and fried green tomatoes

Ok, first of all, this meal was waaaaaay too ugly to photograph. It also tasted so good hot off the stove, it didn’t sit around long enough to have its picture taken.

It’s Friday night. I’ve been reading food blogs. People wrote about things with cornmeal. Deep-fried okra was what put me over the edge. I needed something dredged in cornmeal for dinner. Fried green tomatoes, corn on the cob, salad, and a leftover chicken leg sounded about perfect. The problem was, the sweet corn was awful. I should’ve known better than to buy corn with drying-out husks. Bad corn snob! Bad corn snob! So without the corn, the meal seemed a bit thin.

Corn bread? Sounds great! But I’m eating solo, and it’s too hot to turn on the oven, and I don’t have a small pan that would fit in the toaster oven. But wait…there’s got to be a way to do a pan-fried corn cake, right? The older Joy of Cooking had half a dozen recipes for “corn pancakes,” “corn dodgers,” and other things. None sounded quite right, so I improvised.

Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes.

So here you go: my entire meal, in one cast iron skillet and about 15 minutes. Ready? Go!

  • Slice green tomatoes and dredge in a mix of cornmeal, salt, and pepper.
  • Rub leftover chicken with some boxed spicy dry rub stuff.
  • Mix together in a bowl: 1/2 c. corn meal, 1/2 c. plain yogurt (or buttermilk, I suppose), 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. oil or melted butter. (This would have fed 2 people handily.)
  • Heat up cast iron skillet. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom 1/8″ deep.
  • When hot, put the tomatoes in in one single layer.
  • After a couple minutes, flip the tomatoes over. Take them out as they get soft to the fork – the small ones will come out first.
  • Put the chicken in where the small tomatoes were.
  • Pull out the rest of the tomatoes and the chicken when finished. There should be just a skim of oil left in the pan.
  • Spoon the cornmeal mix into the pan in pancake-like rounds.
  • When they start to dry around the edges, flip them over. (I found a silicone spatula worked really well for this – gets the goop out of the bowl and can stand the heat of the skillet to flip them over.)
  • When cooked through, slide them onto your plate.
  • Devour the whole plate of goodies with your fingers.

Warning: the corn cakes are quite filling and almost addictive. Eat them while they’re hot and still crispy – they won’t keep well.

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4 Comments

  1. Mom said,

    August 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve always found fried green tomatoes to be more trouble than they’re worth, so I haven’t made them in years. But you’ve inspired me to give them a try again…

  2. Emily said,

    August 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Mom’s Kitchen – skip the tomatoes and just make the corn cakes!!

  3. Jenni said,

    August 4, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    You’ve inspired me to finally try fried green tomatoes. I’ve always wanted to, but it’s one of those things I never get around to.

    btw, your pantry planner spreadsheep link isn’t working:)

  4. Angela said,

    August 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    You have me missing my grandmother’s delectable cornmeal crusted fried okra. The best!


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