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You know what these were? Little. Nuggets. Of. Crack. Crack, I tell you! I think if I lived alone, and well, no one could see me, I would probably make a batch of this just to eat. All by myself. The whole thing. Clearly, my waistline appreciates my husband.
I had lots of fried okra growing up, but my mom never used the typical buttermilk/egg wash step when she fried it. She just rolled it around in flour and cornmeal, then straight into the oil. I loved it, and I’m sure I’ll make it that way for you before too long. But I have to admit, there’s something to that buttermilk step. Though it may not be absolutely necessary for a delicious end result, it is serving a purpose when it completely messes up your kitchen. That step gives it a bread-y yet crunchy exterior, and I promise you can’t taste any slime.
I think you are ideally supposed to use plates, or at least pie plates, for the dredging-in-the-flour step. I used a bowl, which technically doesn’t leave enough room to properly dredge each okra piece. It kind of makes the wet and dry slurry together and makes something of a paste. I found that that was just perfectly okay with me. The end result is no less delicious. I’m practically drooling just writing this. Hmm. It’s making me wonder if Matt plans on being out of town for a few days anytime soon. 😉
Source: adapted from Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh, by Emeril Lagasse
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbs hot sauce
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 pounds okra, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
Heat the oil in your deep fat fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions. You want the oil heated to 360 F.
In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and hot sauce to combine. In a second bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Working in batches, dredge the okra first in the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, then in the flour mixture. Shake to remove any extra breading. Repeat until all of the okra is breaded.
Fry the okra, in batches, in the hot oil, turning it as necessary, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fried okra to paper towels to drain, and season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining okra.
If you have any left, transfer it to a serving bowl, take it to the table, and serve hot.