I suppose this is as good a place to start as any.
To me, Southern-fried food is comfort food, regardless of whether it's actually fried. Fried green tomatoes, however, are the sort of comfort food akin to peach cobbler and skillet-baked cornbread.
My partner, J, fell in love with them on a business trip to Memphis, and I learned to make them at the hip of my grandmother, the Southern Food Maven.
In Texas, green tomatoes are available at farmer's markets and roadside fruit stands from March ,for imported, South American fruit, through mid-September. Local fruit is available from June through early September. I've seen green varieties in specialty grocery stores, but this is not the type of tomato that I'm talking about. Choice tomatoes for frying are firm, unripened plum tomatoes, pale celandine and barely blushing.
Fried Greed Tomatoes
1 pound green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coarse corn meal
1/4 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat, if you prefer)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
paprika to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup + enough to cover pan neutral-tasting oil (like canola or safflower)
Mix dry ingredients in a shallow pan.
Heat oil in a deep pan (I use a stock pot) until it starts to smoke. Reduce heat to medium high.
Slice tomatoes roughly 1/2" thick. Dredge in oil, then cornmeal mixture and repeat until evenly coated.
Fry in the oil until golden on both sides, about three minutes on each side, and drain on paper towels. Eat them warm and right away.
What's your comfort food?