Friday, May 10, 2013

Fried And On The Side

Do you know how to fry? Dietitians and health nuts tell us that fried food is unhealthy and messy.

I'm here to tell you: fried food doesn’t absorb massive amounts of cooking oil if done correctly. Frying makes certain foods extra delicious, especially foods with a high water content, like zucchini, chicken and okra.

The traditional Southern diet consists of this: a little fried food, a lot of vegetables, pickled foodstuffs and fruit. The South was basically farmland with little nodules of industry thrown in. Farmers probably got the extra calories from fried foods.

The modern Southern diet consists of this: a lot of fried foods, processed meats, red meat, eggs, sweet drinks and dairy products (milk, ice cream, cheese).

I'm about to add to your fried food quota.


Fried Avocado (or Okra)
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons hot sauce
4 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and each sliced into 8 even pieces OR

2 lbs okra
1/3 teaspoons salt
peanut oil, for frying (vegetable and canola work just fine)
1 1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
Lime wedges, for garnish


In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce and avocado slices. Soak for 30 minutes.

In a medium Dutch oven or deep-fryer, fill oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches (no more than halfway up the sides of the pan.) Heat oil to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat.

Combine cornmeal, flour, chili powder and salt in a shallow dish. Dredge soaked avocado slices in the cornmeal mixture, shaking to remove excess cornmeal.

Place avocado slices in the hot oil and fry until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes each side. Using a slotted spoon, remove slices and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with additional salt. Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lime.


NOTE: For a different flavor, omit chili powder AND/OR Substitute lime wedges for ranch dressing (the ketchup of the South)
Fried anything. Who cares?! It's crispy, crunchy and hot!


No comments: