"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat."--Old New York Proverb

Fried Okra Recipe

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Fried Okra image
Part of the Powers clan in the 1960s. Elaine, Uncle Beverly, his wife Mary, Grandpa, Gee, Beverly Ann, Steven, and Ann

 

This recipe for Fried Okra, by , is from Family Recipes and Memories , one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Melanie Henry

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
3 cups okra cut in 2" pieces, or 2 packages of frozen okra, thawed and patted dry
Enough flour to coat the okra lightly
1 or 2 beaten eggs
White cornmeal
Peanut oil (it has a high smoke point)
Salt to taste

Directions:
Directions:
Put okra in a medium bowl with the beaten eggs; gradually add cornmeal until it uniformly coats the okra.

Heat 1 inches of oil in a large heavy skillet. Heat until a small amount of meal jumps when it hits the oil.

Turn okra as it browns; salt well; drain on paper towels.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
4-6
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
30 minutes
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Ahh... one of the ultimate Southern dishes. And yet there is controversy over the beloved fried okra. Egg or no egg. White or Yellow Cornmeal. My mother, her mother, and back through many generations, grew and cooked okra, both boiled, in stews, and fried. My grandmother tricked us into eating boiled okra by making a game out of it. We put the okra "caps" around the edge of the plate and at the end of the meal we would compete to have the largest number of "soldiers."

My grandmother's family was firmly ensconced in South Carolina by 1720. Thomas Potts was "transported" by the British after the first Jacobite uprising in 1715. He was from Northumberland in England but caught up in the Scots' fight to reinstate a Catholic Stewart King. He was first "indentured" in Maryland, and he was "bought" by a wealthy man for a term of seven years. The "buyers" used the prisoners for cheap labor. Indenture was short-term slavery, intended to punish the rebels as well as to force the transported prisoners to repay their fares to the New World. When he was free Thomas traveled south, with several men who were transported on the same ship. His paper trail lists him as a landowner in the Williamsburg area north of Charleston in 1720. His first cash crop was Indigo, a plant used to produce blue dye for fabric. The African slaves who sowed and cultivated the plant are said to have developed ways to use readily available plants such as okra for their own food. It is unknown exactly how the seeds arrived in South Carolina. There were few written recipes of African Americans until after the Civil War since they were denied the opportunity to learn to either read or write. Their culture is now known as Gullah Geechee. Okra was easy to grow and plentiful. As described by Southern Food Correspondent Robert Moss, from the Serious Eats Blog, "They took the shrimp and dried them out along with okra on the roofs of the houses. In the winter time [my grandfather's] mother would make okra soup or gumbo. That's a kind of really close to a traditional West African style of gumbo."

Okra is found in its wild state on the alluvial banks of the Nile and ... the plant originated in the Near East and came to America with the slave trade.

 

 

 

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