If my mother was given a good cast iron skillet, she could fry anything. She used her dutch oven for frying okra, green tomatoes, quail, dove, and chicken. She used a shorter but larger frying pan for frying catfish, bream, and shellcracker. Her secret was not hurrying and never overcrowding the pan. She also was perfection at seasonings. I have found her recipe for fried okra. She always fried in peanut oil. It did not smell up the house or smoke heavily. It is very expensive now, but I still splurge and use it for my fried favorites.
Try to find very young and tender okra. You will not want hard edges that can be quite chokey.
South Georgia Fried Okra
2 cups Peanut Oil
1 large egg - lightly beaten
a little water- maybe a tablespoon
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 cup fine cracker crumbs - this is one sleeve of saltines - or cracker meal can be used
1 1/2 teaspoons salt should flavor the breading
1 pound okra with the stem removed that has been sliced into rounds. .
Line a broiling pan or platter with a brown grocery bag.
Heat the oil in a cast iron Dutch oven or other deep, heavy skillet. Whisk the egg, water, and buttermilk together in a small bowl. In a paper bag, combine the flour, cracker crumbs or meal, salt and pepper to taste.
Dip the okra into the buttermilk milk using a lunchroom size slotted spoon. Place the okra in the bag and shake, shake, shake until well coated. Using another slotted spoon that is completely dry, remove the okra from the bag, and shake to remove the the excess oil.
Fry the okra in hot oil until deep brown, several minutes. Drain on the prepared grocery bag and sprinkle with extra salt. Serve immediately.
The serving tray will probably not make it to the table. My people stand around waiting for each batch and eat it as soon as it is cool enough to not burn their mouths. Enjoy!