These crunchy fritters (guaranteed to convert even the most squeamish non-Southern eater) were inspired by those included on the lazy Susan at a down-home retreat in McComb, Mississippi, called The Dinner Bell. Sorry, but these fritters simply don’t work with frozen okra, so if you can’t find small, firm pods in the market, choose another appetizer. And don’t snicker at the Thousand Island dressing: it adds just the right zest the okra needs.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix till well blended, cover, and chill till ready to serve.
To make the fritters, stem the okra and slice thinly. In a large bowl, combine the okra, onion, bell pepper, flour, salt, and pepper and toss till well blended. Add the cornmeal and toss again. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, half-and-half, and Tabasco till well blended, pour over the okra mixture, stir gently, and let stand about 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, melt about
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