From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more on my new cookbook!
Makes 6 servings
As always when frying, lock up the bunnies and kittens and babies and keep 'em out of the kitchen! Hot oil is NO FUN for tinies. This recipe works beautifully with fresh okra. Frozen will pale in comparison, just say no.
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh okra, ends trimmed, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
Peanut or canola oil for frying
In wide shallow bowl, pour buttermilk. In second bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Prepare a paper towel-covered plate for okra when fried.
In large cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 inch oil to 375°F, or when bubbles form around the end of a wooden spoon held in the oil. Toss about 20 pieces okra at a time in buttermilk to coat, remove with slotted spoon, shake off excess milk, then toss to coat each piece in cornmeal mixture using a teaspoon.
Use tongs to place okra in hot oil. Fry okra till golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. A fish spatula is ideal for removing okra from pan once fried. Place on paper towel-lined plate to drain. Monitor heat and adjust as needed to maintain steady frying temperature. Serve immediately.
From the "Texas Hayride" chapter of my new cookbook. Illustration by Marco Marella