Southern Traditions from Chef Kelly Franz
Nothing says summer in the South quite like a plate of fried green tomatoes, and there's no one who serves up this delicacy quite like Magnolias in Charleston.
Magnolias is not only a Charleston gem, it's also a staple on the Southern cuisine scene. Executive Chef Kelly Franz and her team are experts on adding refreshing, delicious twists to traditional favorites.
These aren't your average fried green tomatoes--the addition of white cheddar grits, country ham, caramelized onion chutney, and tomato butter perfectly accompany the classic dish. As the weather starts to (hopefully) warm up, Magnolia's signature fried green tomatoes make a delicious start to any meal. If you can't make a trip up to Charleston to try them for yourself, try this recipe at home!
(Hospitality Management Group, Inc.)
Fried Green Tomatoes with Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Grits, Country Ham and Tomato Chutney
- Tomato Chutney
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 6 cups tomatoes julienned, juice drained
- 2 cups yellow onions, julienned
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Place sugar and vinegar in heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium-high heat and bring to a
boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce the volume by half. Add remaining ingredients
and cook an hour or so until it becomes syrup like. Remember that it will thicken as it cools.
After it cooks down, remove from heat and cool.
Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Grits
3 cups water
- 1 cup stone ground grits
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 small onion, julienned and caramelized
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
Bring the water to boil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Slowly stir in the grits and stir continuously for
the first five minutes to prevent lumps. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and cook for 15 minutes more. The grits should be thick and plump, add
more water or heavy cream if needed. Add the caramelized onion and white cheddar cheese.
Cook 5 minutes more. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready
- 6 ounces canned tomato juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 pound unsalted butter, cubed in small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
In a small saucepot reduce the tomato juice by half, add the heavy cream and reduce again by
two-thirds. Turn the heat to low and slowly whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Check for
seasoning, add salt if needed and keep warm.
Fried Green Tomato Breading
- 3 cups seasoned all-purpose flour (salt and pepper added to taste)
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup basil, julienned
- 18 slices green tomatoes, 1/4 inch thick, about 5 whole tomatoes
- 4 cups canola oil
This is a standard breading procedure that can be used for frying many kinds of vegetables.
You’ll need three separate containers or use three large freezer bags to save time on the
cleanup. Place the seasoned flour in the first container or bag. In the second, mix the buttermilk
and eggs together. In the third, mix the panko, cornmeal and julienned basil. As you work to
coat the tomatoes, try to keep one hand dry and use your other hand for the wet steps. Evenly
coat all tomatoes in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Place in the buttermilk mixture,
remove the tomatoes and shake off any excess. Place them in the final pan of panko-cornmeal
mixture, making sure to coat them well. Heat the canola oil to 325 degrees in a large skillet or
fryer, and fry the tomatoes in small batches until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place on a
brown paper bag to drain and keep warm.
9 slices Country Ham, one ounce each
Choose any good country ham and allow 1 1/2 ounces or pieces of thinly sliced ham per
person, cut in half. Sear the ham in a sauté pan. Place 6 appetizer size plates on the counter
and in the center of each plate place a 3-ounce scoop of caramelized onion and white cheddar
grits. Starting with a single slice of fried green tomato, top the grits with alternate slices of
tomato and ham, finishing the stack with a slice of tomato. Crown the stack with a spoonful of
tomato chutney. Finish the dish using a 2-ounce ladle to drizzle tomato butter around the
outside of the plate.