Another fried green tomato recipe? Well, this is the South, after all!
But really, I decided I did not like the kind where there was more fried batter than tomatoes. (We feel the same about okra.) So I developed this one, and the breading just lightly coats the tomato. You can actually see the tomato through the breading. It works well with those winter pink hard tomatoes you get from the store, too.
Slice your tomatoes evenly so they cook evenly. I do not cook the stem and blossom ends. Pat the slices dry with paper towels and discard any loose seeds.
Stir together the flour, salt, lemon pepper, and cayenne pepper, and place it in a shallow bowl. Whisk together the egg, egg whites, and evaporated milk and place in another shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese well and place on a plate.
Heat the oil (about 1/2" deep) in a skillet over medium high heat. You want to cook them hot so they brown nicely. Do not crowd them or they won't brown.
Dip the tomato slices first in the flour and shake off excess. Give them a quick dip in the egg mixture. Then press them onto the breadcrumb mixture, first on one side, then the other. Do not coat the outside edges. Place them on a sheet of waxed paper until all are coated. If there are crumbs left, you can press them again into the mixture if desired. Do not coat too thickly.
When oil is hot, fry 2-3 tomato slices at a time, waiting for oil to reheat after placing each tomato in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, then carefully turn with thin spatula or fork to cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a foil-lined pan in a slow oven (250 degrees) until all are cooked.
In the leftover cooking oil, I usually fry okra.
Slice the okra about 1/2" thick. Shake it in a bag with equal parts flour and cornmeal with salt and pepper. Drop a few pieces at a time into the hot oil. Cook and turn until browned nicely - do not overcook - and drain on paper towels.
TIP: you will need to keep adjusting your burner temperature to prevent burning but to maintain correct hot temperature. Some say you can use an electric skillet at 370 degrees, but I don't have one and I'm used to doing it this way. I use my cast iron skillet.