Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomato Fritters

Tomato Fritters are supposed to be like any other kind of fritter, a filling surrounded by a dough that puffs up when immersed in hot oil. Well, tomatoes are kind of slippery, and the dough didn't really adhere to the tomatoes. Or, the dough stuck to the pan and slid off the tomatoes. Now it does say to drain the tomatoes, which I am ashamed to say I did not do. So, that might have contributed to the slipperiness of the tomatoes.
Tomato fritters are okay. I didn't hate them. It's impossible to hate anything made with fresh tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes so much I used to eat them like apples. My aunt and uncle had a greenhouse at their place in Stockbridge, that in the fifties was actually maintained by the gardener, a Frenchman who wore a beret and looked like Claude Monet. I loved to sneak into the hot prickly smelling space with my cousin Cricket and graze on tomatoes.
My aunt and my mother were great tomato lovers. My aunt used to take a bread knife, and with a very steady hand would cut a slice of Pepperidge Farm white bread in half, spread it with mayonnaise and make a tomato sandwich. My mother served something like tomato fritters. She cut tomatoes in half, sprinkled the tops with breadcrumbs and put a pat of butter on top. These were baked for twenty minutes and served as the third or fourth vegetable in the summertime. The British do something similar with their full breakfasts. They were easy to cook in the apartment.

Tomato Fritters

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 egg well beaten
6 firm tomatoes
1 teaspoon basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix the milk and egg together and stir into the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter.
2. Cut the tomatoes into one half inch slices. Sprinkle with the basil, salt and pepper and let drain ten minutes.
3. Dip the tomato slices into the batter and fry on a well-greased griddle until brown on one side. Turn and brown the underside. Makes eight servings.

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