Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cajun Fried Okra

I could most likely eat my body weight in fried okra.  There are about 3 lbs of fresh okra in my refrigerator right now.  Growing up, I didn't care for the vegetable.  My grandma likes boiled okra, and that slimy bowl of vegetal bits adorning the dinner table was gag-inducing.  Because of that, I stayed away from okra in all forms.  I don't know when I started to eat fried okra, but it was a turning point for me.  When handled properly, there is almost no slime!

Cajun Fried Okra
1 lb okra
~1 C coarse ground cornmeal
vegetable oil
1 Tbsp bacon fat (optional)
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

   Slice okra into ~1/3 inch thick disks, discard the fibrous tops.  After it is cut, wash it.  (Doing things in this order cuts down on slime if you are concerned about that.)
   Put cornmeal in a plastic container or bag of some kind.  Add okra and shake to coat.
   In a cast iron skillet (important)*, pour vegetable oil about 1/4 inch deep and add bacon fat. Heat over medium/med-high to ~350 deg F.  (When a wooden toothpick is is dipped into the oil, bubbles should rise rapidly from it.)
   Place a single layer of okra in skillet.  Fry until golden brown.  Drain.  Liberally sprinkle with Tony Chachere's when still hot and a little wet with oil.  Continue in batches until it is all cooked (you may need to add more oil to maintain 1/4 in depth.)
   Serves 2-4.

*You can use a deep fryer if you have one, but nothing beats a well season cast iron skillet.

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