Grandson has been visiting here on Sunrise Ridge. After some discussion and a trip to the garden for fresh veggies an evening or two ago, he mentioned he did not think he had ever eaten fried okra. It has really produced well this hot dry summer so we are having it quite often.
Okra is a member of the mallow family, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okra, sporting a pretty hibiscus like flower. It is used as a thickener in gumbo, and makes a great pickle when pods are small. Grandson enjoyed it the way I made it, and told me I needed to send the recipe to his mother so she could fix it after his visit ends.
Here on the ridge, it is mostly served up fried, in keeping with long-standing southern tradition. Here is how I do it: This is adequate for 3 cups of sliced okra and serves 2 – 4 people.
Wash and slice medium size okra pods (4 – 6 inches long) I cut them in about 1/4 inch slices.
Mix 1 egg and 1 cup milk in a bowl and drop in the okra slices, let them set for at least 15 minutes. (I don’t know why an arbitrary 15 minutes, perhaps some tradition no one ever passed on)
In a sealable container, (Ziplock bag, Tupperware or such) mix 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour and 1 tsp salt and a little pepper.
Using a large slotted spoon drain some okra slices and transfer to the cornmeal mix, shake well to coat and fry in hot oil heated to 300 degrees, until golden brown.
We have tried this using frozen sliced okra and in a pinch, canned okra, rinsed and well drained before it goes into the milk and egg.