12 Bones Smokehouse: Fried Green Tomatoes

Have you fallen in love with fried green tomatoes yet? No, not the 1991 classic with Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy, but the delicious, salty, wonderful-ness of the perfect fried green tomato. Whether you eat them as a side, appetizer, or atop a sandwich, these bites of heaven should be something on your “favorite recipe” list… no matter where you live.


Fried Green Tomatoes
Excerpted from 12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook

Lately, fried green tomatoes have become en vogue in restaurants all over the country, thanks in part to the countrywide popularity of Southern cuisine. Though a goodly number of restaurants in New York City lay claim to their own versions—some even slapping them on pizza—you know, as they do, the heart of this dish belongs to the South.

We serve our Fried Green Tomatoes on a vegetarian sandwich with bright, herbaceous mayo and smoky portobello mushrooms. We also put them on our BLT, or serve them at parties with our Spicy Ranch Dressing as a dipping sauce.

This recipe calls for seasoning the tomato batter with 12 Bones Chicken Rub, but you can use any kind of seasoning salt you might prefer. Just make sure to adjust the recipe to suit the salt level of whatever seasoning you choose, but don’t skimp; green tomatoes need a bit of help to shine. You
can double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to feed a crowd.

Yield: About 6 slices, enough for two sandwiches.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons 12 Bones chicken rub (recipe follows)
1 cup cornmeal
vegetable oil
1 egg
¼ cup buttermilk
1 green tomato, cored and sliced to 1⁄8-to ¼-inch thickness

To make the breading, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and half of the Chicken Rub. Pour onto a dinner plate or a platter. In the same bowl, whisk together the cornmeal with the rest of the Chicken Rub. Pour onto a separate plate or platter and set aside.

Whisk together the egg and the buttermilk in a bowl or shallow dish until smooth. Dust the flour mixture onto a tomato slice, then dip the slice in the buttermilk mixture until fully wet. Then dredge the slice in the cornmeal mixture, and shake off the excess. Try to use one hand to handle the dry ingredients and another hand to handle the wet ingredients.

Repeat this process with the remaining slices, setting each aside on a clean plate. Then, deep-fry the tomatoes in vegetable oil, heated to 350°F, until golden. Place the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain off the oil, and serve while still hot.

12 Bones Chicken Rub

This makes enough for several batches of chicken. We also use it to season our smoked shrimp and other recipes. This chicken rub is a good all-purpose rub, something that can be used in multiple applications.

1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
1/2 cup fine-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne
4 teaspoons whole dry basil
1 tablespoon cumin
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
4 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 cup dry English mustard
1/2 cup iodized salt
8 teaspoons chili powder

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store what isn’t used in an airtight container and refrigerate.

12 Bones Smokehouse

For lovers of the 12 Bones restaurant as well as fans of progressive ‘cue, 12 Bones Smokehouse includes signature recipes and techniques for ribs, pulled pork, and all the fixin’s.

When 12 Bones Smokehouse opened in Asheville, North Carolina, many doubted that it would succeed. From a squat building in a flood plain, the owners were serving up creative barbecue that wasn’t 100-percent true to any single region. Yet a decade later, 12 Bones is a local institution that rivals the Biltmore Estate in popularity. (In fact, it’s 12 Bones alone that has been on President Obama’s itinerary all three times he’s passed through Asheville.)

The 12 Bones Smokehouse book is true to the spirit of the place. Everything is made from scratch–and cornbread is not optional. Inside you’ll find all the classics: from the famous ribs to smoky pork, turkey, and chicken. And just like the restaurant, the bookis uniquely vegetarian-friendly by barbecue standards. From tangy Pickled Okra Salad to savory Jalapeno Cheese Grits, everyone will find something to love. Addictive desserts and flavor-packed rubs and sauces–including the famous Blueberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce–are all here, too. So if you can’t make it to 12 Bones this week, now you have the next best thing.