Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SOUTHERN FRIED OKRA RECIPE

This Summer, we grew our first ever okra plants.  They were prolific.  2nd Man has never had them and always equated them to slimy.  I wanted to introduce him to a true Southern staple, fried okra.

Okra
We started with a basket of okra.  
Not sure how much, probably a pound or so.


I washed them, dried them well, and then sliced them into bite sized pieces.


Next is the coating.  

1/2 cup of cornmeal, 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Again, these measurements are to taste, more or less, depending on how much okra you need to coat.  You could even add a bit of red pepper for heat. 


Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  What is that in the middle?  I added a dollop of bacon grease.  I mean, come on, that makes everything better, am I right?  

But of course, that's optional...Southern, but optional.  


Put the sliced okra in a paper bag or even a bowl.  Trust me when I say the bag is much more fun and involves no cleanup.


Pour the dry ingredients in, close the bag, and shake your problems and/or stress away.  See, I said it was fun!

Cast iron skillet with fried okra
Remove from bag with a slotted spoon and drop the coated okra into hot oil.  It will cook quickly, so just fry until it looks crispy and starts to brown a bit.

Southern Fried Okra
Like this.  I sprinkled a bit more salt on after putting it on a paper towel to drain...and then dished it up into a bowl to give to 2nd Man.  


...and here is his bowl afterward.  He loved it!  His exact words were "are we going to grow more next Summer?"

YES!

21 comments:

Linda said...

You converted him? Gag, spit, boo for okra any way.

Maybe you would like to try this method some day. While I don't eat okra in any form, I made this for exbf who was bf at the time. I was making cornbread and dreading the okra. I left a bit of cornbread batter in the bowl and stirred the cut okra into the left batter. I dumped the okra covered with batter and fried it, He said it was wonderful. Just and idea for expediency.

I see your okra crop will be expanded next year.

Linda said...

Ooops! I suppose I eliminated the fun shaking part. But, for days when there is no paper bag to be had for love nor money....
pparsimony

Janie Junebug said...

I confess I have never eaten okra or grits. I'm no southerner.

Love,
Janie

Texas Rose said...

Fried okra - mmmmm! Looks so good!

A variation: To get more coating to stick, I dip the okra in a beaten egg, then into the coating mix. I've heard of some people dipping it into buttermilk instead of egg.

Anne in the kitchen said...

I disagree with you, a dollop of bacon grease is required!

Anonymous said...

Fried okra is the best! I hace a six year old grandson who request it at a gas station his dad stops at on his way to Jackson. Never candy or cookies, just fried okra. He saw the bags im my freezer and ask if I might have extra for a little boy who loves his Grammy. Of course I did. I fry extgra and eat it like a snack instead of chips. Catherine in south MS.

kymber said...

still can't get my head around okra...but you are correct...a dollop of bacon grease makes everything taste better! i am so glad that your okra did so well this year...plant a ton of the stuff next year!

sending you both much love...but still hate the thought of that slimey okra...fried or not - bahahahahah! your friend,
kymber

1st Man said...

We'll have more next year for sure. You sure we can't convert you? LOL! And I like that idea of the cornbread batter. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

No grits either? We love them. 2nd Man likes grits too. The okra though, is still a work in progress, ha.

1st Man said...

Ooh, never tried it that way. I will have to do that (next year, or pay $4/lb, haha). AND buttermilk sounds good too.

1st Man said...

Well, for our non bacon loving people (how can anyone NOT like bacon? LOL) I thought I'd make it optional. But yes, it IS pretty much a requirement down these parts, ha.

1st Man said...

Thanks for sharing that (you are a pretty awesome Grandma by the way!). Anyway, love that the little kids are liking okra too.

1st Man said...

Aw come on you KNOW you'll love it!!!!!!! Bacon grease and all. You should grow some and then supply all of Canada with it, hahaha!!!

Much love to you both as well!!

Linda said...

NO WAY! I will not ever be converted to okra, grits, or cantaloupe. Won't happen. And, I am a Southerner.
pparsimony

Colleen said...

Way to Go. Sure does look good.2nd man gets gold star for eating it all up. He now belongs to the 'clean plate club'. :}Old saying I would hear all the time while growing up; 'A clean plate is a happy plate'. I sure would like to get my hands on the person who ever came up with that saying.

Recipe That I use
Fried Okra
6 cups oil, for frying (my note: I save my bacon grease and store in freezer of which I add some to the oil)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup buttermilk
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.)
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, House Seasoning, and cayenne pepper.
Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well.
Carefully add okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.)
Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Kev Alviti said...

I think I'm going to have to try growing these next year now I've seen this. Maybe there's a variety for milder climates.

Texas Rose said...

Here's a recipe that I saw and want to try next year:

Okra Patties

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh okra or 1 (18 ounce) bag frozen cut okra
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch garlic powder (optional)
Oil (for frying)

Directions:
Combine cut okra, onion, salt, pepper, egg, and water. Mix well.
Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and garlic powder.
Add to okra mixture, stirring well.
Drop about 1/4 cup portions into about 1/2" hot oil.
Fry over medium heat until well browned on both sides.
Drain on paper towels.

Janie Junebug said...

Willy Dunne Wooters eats enough grits for both of us.

1st Man said...

Well that's pretty close. I like the house seasoning that Paula always had. And will definitely try the buttermilk dip too. Thank you!!!

1st Man said...

There may be. Even though they do LOVE heat, we pulled ours before the cooler weather and I've heard that they can still keep producing. I don't know if that means they need heat to start or not. Blog about it if you do, I'd love to know okra is growing on that side of the world. You might start a new trend, ha

1st Man said...

Oh. My. That sounds wonderful!! I'm going to have to save this for next year. If I forget, remind me next Summer when I'm complaining about too much okra, ha. This looks different AND good.