Okra. God bless it. Even some deep-fried recipes leave these poor pods soggy and slimy. We were determined to make a batch that came out better than the two first letters in its name: just OK.
This recipe for fried okra yields a golden, crunchy crust that doesn’t wilt on the plate. In fact, the batter has enough tooth to go head-to-head against less maligned fried foods. Throw a handful of these puppies in a bun, add some tartar or cocktail sauce, and you’d have a veggie poboy that rivaled seafood varieties.
Yields 3 to 4 restrained servings
½ c cornmeal
½ c all-purpose flour
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
1 c milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ lb okra
Add about 2 inches of oil to a pot and bring it to medium-high heat. Mix the cornmeal and flour in a pie plate; stir in the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Pour the milk and lemon juice in a large bowl (if you have buttermilk, you can use that), add a dash of salt, and stir. Cut the okra into half-inch pieces and put the entire batch into your milk/lemon juice mixture. Stir to coat; let soak for a minute or so, then fish out with a slotted spoon and roll the okra in the cornmeal mixture until thoroughly coated. Drop the okra in the hot oil (all in one batch is fine if you’re working with half a pound) and fry, stirring gently, until brown all over, about 3 to 5 minutes. Fish out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve as a side or nestle in buns to delight vegetarians and skeptics alike.
STILL HUNGRY? Browse the CSA Cookoff recipe file.