Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I can think of no better green subject to discuss than green FOOD. And since Irish food is kind of...well, blah (colcannon, anyone? Kill me.), let's talk about plain ol' green foods that we can dress up a little.
And why would we talk about healthy foods on a day that is marked by massive indulgence?
No, we're gonna talk about fried okra: an originally green food that we're going to batter and fry into submission until it's crispy crunchy golden brown.
...but it started out green. So it counts.
- Enough fresh okra for your family (About ½-¾ lb. is enough for four)
- 1 ½ c self-rising cornmeal mix
- 1 t salt, ½ t pepper (for the cornmeal)
- 1 - 1 ½ c buttermilk
- 2 c peanut oil (or your favorite vegetable/canola oil)
- Kosher salt for sprinkling on finished okra
1. Wash and drain the okra. Slice into 1/2 '' pieces, throwing out the caps and tips. Toss thoroughly into the buttermilk and leave to soak for 20 minutes or so.
2. Put the cornmeal, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and toss together.
3. Pour your oil into a cast iron skillet and heat until very hot, but not smoking. Carefully take the okra from the buttermilk and allow the excess buttermilk to drip through your fingers before tossing to coat in cornmeal mixture. Carefully lift the okra out of the cornmeal mix, allowing excess cornmeal to fall off.
4. Put only as much okra in as will cover the bottom of your skillet. Turn okra as needed in order to brown all sides - I use a wooden spoon to flip them individually.
5. Once your okra is golden brown, take it out with a slotted spoon or pasta drainer and place it onto paper towels. Add kosher salt to taste, and repeat until all your little okras have joined the party!
This is one of my FAVORITE warm-weather recipes - okra is not quite in season yet, but, as we all know, nothing really goes out of season at grocery stores anymore because #america.
Happy frying, and happy St. Patrick's Day!