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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fried Okra

Whether if was Mother’s fried okra or Me-Ma’s, summer was the time for this special treat

Fried Okra

about a pound of okra
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk (if using milk, make fake buttermilk by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in the measuring cup before measuring out the milk—often, Mother just used milk, cos that’s what was on hand)
~1 cup all-purpose flour (See note)
~1 cup cornmeal  (See note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper (A dash or three of cayenne makes a nice variation with a tad more zip)
Vegetable oil

(Note: the flour/cornmeal ratio can be skewed either way by about 1/4 cup to your taste. (Me-Ma’s fried okra seemed to have more flour than Mother’s—or maybe it just depended on what was in the pantry :-)

Wash and slice the okra. Dry it with (paper) towels.
Mix the eggs and buttermilk, then add the sliced okra, and let the mess stand for a while. (7-10 minutes, while the pan's heating.)
Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper separately.
Drain the okra, a tad at a time, using a slotted spoon or small seive.
Coat the okra in the flour mixture a bit at a time. (One method: large plastic zip lock bag, flour mixture, some okra, shake. Don't knock it.  It works.)
While the okra's soaking in the egg/milk mixture, heat your cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Pour about 2 to 3-inches of oil in just a lil bit before you need to start the okra cooking. (Medium high heat, for all the anal-retentives out there, is about 350 fahrenheit). Fry the okra until it's golden brown. Drain it and serve it while its hot.

The recipe I adapted this from said it'd feed four.  Yeh, right.  Once ya taste it, it won't go so far.  Folk'll put down the fried chicken for this stuff. Make more.