Diary of a Foodie

Okra Cornmeal Fritters

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: North Carolina

Makesabout 28 fritters
  • Active Time:30 min
  • Start to Finish:30 min
January 2008
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1/2 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 lb fresh okra, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup white cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in middle.
  • Cook bacon in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving fat in skillet, then finely chop. Add onion and okra to fat in skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped bacon.
  • Whisk egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, cornmeal, sugar, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Stir in okra mixture.
  • Wipe skillet clean. Add enough oil to skillet to measure 1/4 inch and heat over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook rounded tablespoons of batter (6 to 7 fritters per batch), turning once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, transferring to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in oven while making remaining batches. Serve immediately.
Cooks' Note: Bacon, onion, and okra mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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