Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amish Fried Tomato Slices (UPDATED!)

Bobalu's Florida Keys
One of Mom's favorite restaurants in the Florida Keys was Bobalu's Southern Cafe' on Big Coppitt Key on US Route 1. When she and my stepdad Barry lived in Key West, they would often go there for lunch. It was a favorite restaurant of mine as well when I would visit. I would always get their conch fritters and upon the urging of my Mom, it was the first place I ordered fried green tomatoes. Mom said she loved them and so did I.

Bobalu's still exists and has been open for over 20 years. It has changed owners since Mom and Barry lived in the Keys but still has the great carefree Key West atmosphere which has attracted years and years of tourists and locals. Even though this recipe is technically an Amish  one, I still thought of Mom and the Florida Keys while making it.

Now I can only surmise that Mom had chosen this recipe so she could make them on her own when she came up North to her home in Lake Wyononah. Well unfortunately she never made them for me and I honestly don't know if she made them for herself or Barry. I do know that she liked them and had intended to make them one day as I found this recipe tucked away in one of her recipe boxes.

The first substitution I have made is that I used Panko bread crumbs instead of using cracker crumbs. I couldn't find any cracker crumbs at the supermarket and didn't feel like making my own. Panko seemed like an acceptable substitute. I also used butter flavored cooking spray instead of butter. I tried one batch using butter and everything fell apart, or maybe I just wasn't patient enough. I didn't want the tomatoes and coating to get bogged down with butter yet I still wanted them to have the butter flavor. The second batch came out better using the butter spray.

Final verdict:  While tasting really good, I wouldn't make this recipe again. The tomatoes and breading still kind of fell apart while sauteing them in the butter spray on medium heat. The outside also cooked too quickly. Perhaps a lower heat would've worked better. I would also try using cracker crumbs per the original recipe instead of the Panko bread crumbs. In a nutshell, I was very happy to make this recipe in honor of my Mom but ... once and done. I'd rather make the return trip to Bobalu's in the Florida Keys and have some authentic southern style fried green tomatoes!

My friend Troy, who is the cook at the Lake Wynonah Lodge, told me what went wrong. Mom's found recipe down below did NOT include dredging in flour. When you fry pretty much anything, dredge the food item in flour BEFORE dipping into the egg mixture. The flour acts as a binder to help the crumb coating stick to the food! I knew this but forgot it. He also stated to salt the tomatoes prior to dredging in flour to draw out excess water. I added both points to the recipe below. I maaay just try this one again. Thanks Troy. :)

As selected by Abby Deeds

2 firm almost ripe tomatoes
1 egg beaten
2 Tbsp milk
Amish Fried Tomato Slices
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 stick of butter or margarine (2 Tbsp)
salt and pepper

1. Slice Tomatoes into 3/4" slices. Salt for a couple minutes to draw out excess water.
2. Combine egg and milk
3. Dip tomato slice into egg mixture and then into cracker crumbs
4. Melt shortening and fry coated slices
5. Brown on both sides, turning once
6. Season with salt and pepper


  1. I love fried green tomatoes. I had them last week when I went to dinner with my friends (Matthew doesn't like to eat out). I make them with a mixture of flour and corn meal like they do in Alabama. The original Whistle Stop Cafe is in Alabama even though the movie was made in Georgia. Last time I had them at the Whistle Stop, they were excellent. Mine are really good but I don't deep fry them so they don't get that "fritter" look to them. Caused me to think back so - thanks for the memories.