Tomatoes are at their height of deliciousness and home gardens and farmers markets are loaded with them. In fact, local farmers markets and produce stands are the best place to buy tomatoes because they tomatoes don’t ship well. Some folks purchase green tomatoes and let them ripen at home, while others specifically hunt them out for things like sautéing, making a sauce, turning into relish – and for making fried green tomatoes. Summer squash are also their peak. When you select summer squash, look for squash that are less than eight inches long (small squash are sweeter and the skin more tender than the larger ones) have bright, glossy skins with no soft spots and are firm, particularly at the stem end. Today we’re looking at recipes for Middle Tennessee-Style Fried Green Tomatoes, a humdinger of a recipe from frequent recipe contributor, Caroline Kennedy, of Bluffton, and for Pan Fried Summer Squash Fritters, which can be served as side dish, or as a hot hors d’oeuvre. Because both dishes depend on proper pan frying to turn out well, it’s good to be up on the proper technique for this method of cooking. The secret here is to use a heavy-bottom deep skillet and to heat the oil to a depth of about ½-inch, until it is hot enough to produce food that is crisp, but not soggy; browned, but not burned. My favorite way to test oil is to heat the oil in a skillet over the heat called for in the recipe you are following. (Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to high to speed things along.) When the tip of a wooden skewer inserted into the hot oil sizzles, you’re good to go.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.