The Saline Courier Weekend

Country cooking with Southern flair

- Special to The Saline Courier

Country cooking elicits visions of straight-from-thegarden vegetables and farmfresh meats and dairy. For

those in the United States, country cooking and Southern cooking may be thought of as interchang­eable, as so many homespun meals are made that much more delicious with some southern influence.

Buttermilk-infused recipes are part of any country cook’s repertoire, as are crispy, fried foods. That’s the pairing in this delicious side dish or appetizer for “Buttermilk-battered Okra Fries With Comeback Sauce” from “Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectable­s for Gracious Gettogethe­rs” (Chronicle Books) by Denise Gee.

Buttermilk-battered Okra Fries With Comeback Sauce Serves 6

(About six fries each; makes 2 cups sauce)

Comeback Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

1⁄4 cup chili sauce

1⁄4 cup ketchup

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoon­s finely grated sweet or white onion or 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon Worcesters­hire sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard

1 pepper

1 teaspoon hot sauce 1⁄4 teaspoon hot or smoked paprika

Salt (optional) teaspoon ground black

Okra Fries

Canola or corn oil for frying 8 ounces small to medium okra pods, stemmed and halved lengthwise

1 cup buttermilk (or enough to cover okra)

1 cup all-purpose flour

3⁄4 cup cornstarch


1⁄2 pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) teaspoon ground black

To make the sauce: In a food processor, purée the mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, olive oil, garlic, onion, Worcesters­hire, lemon juice, mustard, black pepper, hot sauce, and paprika. (Or use a medium bowl and whisk to combine all the ingredient­s.) Season with salt, if needed, cover tightly, and let the sauce sit overnight in the refrigerat­or before serving.

To make the okra: Place several layers of paper towels atop a paper bag or platter. Keep it close to where you’ll be frying.

In an electric fryer, Dutch oven, or heavy cast-iron skillet, add canola oil to a depth of 2 to 4 inches. Heat to 350 F. (If you’re not using an electric fryer, use a fry/candy thermomete­r to ensure the temperatur­e stays consistent.)

In a medium bowl, soak the sliced okra in the buttermilk and set aside.

In a large paper bag or large plastic zip-top bag, combine the flour, cornstarch, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne (if using).

Drain the buttermilk-soaked okra and dredge it in the flour mixture. Carefully shake off any excess flour. Fry in batches of seven or eight pieces for

2 to 3 minutes or until crispy and light golden brown, turning them carefully midway through.

Use a fry basket or slotted spoon to remove the okra to drain on the paper towels. While still hot, season the okra with additional salt, if desired.

Serve the okra fries immediatel­y with the sauce.

 ?? Special to The Saline Courier ?? Try these country cooking okra recipes for your next down-home dinner.
Special to The Saline Courier Try these country cooking okra recipes for your next down-home dinner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States