Okra Fritters with Thousand Island Dressing

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

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.

Ingredients

The Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup bottled chili sauce
  • ¼ cup minced pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1 large hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper
  • Tabasco sauce to taste

The Fritters

  • pounds small, firm, fresh okra, rinsed
  • ¾ cup minced onion
  • ¼ cup minced green bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • Vegetable shortening

Method

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 1 inch of shortening over moderately high heat, drop the okra mixture by tablespoons into the fat, and fry the fritters about 2 minutes on each side or till just golden brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain, then serve hot with dollops of the dressing on the side.