A Taste of the South

I have a weird relationship with grocery shopping.  I love food, I love cooking, I love shopping for kitchen things.  I hate shopping for food.  I think a lot of it is because I am a food snob when it comes to certain brands and I have to have ample lighting.  In the small little town I live in, there are not many grocery options and the lighting is always depressing and at times the walls seem like they are closing in on me.  I just find it to be inconvenient.

I am organized in most areas of my life, but meal planning is not one of them.  I don’t like to sit down and plan out the meals because I don’t know if I will feel like when I get home from work.  I need options and flexibility.  And honestly?  It’s just me so why does it matter?

I am moving in about 9 days (assuming I get everything packed).  I refuse to go to the store until then.  Meals have gotten very creative because I am trying to use up what I have.

The other day I was trying to find a place for my newest ice cream creation (sweet potato ice cream with a cinnamon browned butter swirl) and I stumbled on a bag of frozen okra.  I’m sure I bought it in a sheer panic trying to get out of the store as soon as I possibly could. Instead of just throwing it in a pan of boiling water, I decided to try my hand at making gluten free fried okra. All measurements are estimates because much like grocery shopping, digging my measuring cups out of boxes seemed to inconvenient for my hunger.

Fried Okra:

1 pound of of frozen okra or sliced fresh okra

2 Eggs, beaten

1 cup of milk

1/2 package of Ranch seasoning (or 3tps of homemade seasoning if you’re feeling daring)

Paprika

Salt and Pepper

3/4 cup Gluten free flour mix of your choice (I prefer Silvana Nardone’s  All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (or you could probably forego this completely, you would just need to add more cornmeal)

3/4 cup Cornmeal

Oil of your choice (I used Grapeseed Oil because it was what I had on hand)

A skillet (I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven because I’m obsessed with it and it is yellow which makes me happy and I don’t currently own a good cast iron skillet and of course, I want a Le Creuset one which does not come cheap).

1.  Beat together eggs and milk in a bowl and set aside.

2.  In another bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, ranch seasoning and a pinch of remaining seasoning to taste

3.  Dip the okra in the milk/egg mixture and then transfer to the flour mixture.  Make sure the okra is completely coated.  Once coated, move to a mixing bowl until ready to fry.

4.  Heat your choice of oil in a skillet until it is about 400 degrees. Use a slotted spoon to place the okra in the oil (I have one too many hot oil related injuries during my years at Kanakuk, one including a stint in an eye patch so I am extremely careful about it)

5.  Cook until golden brown, which took about 3-4 minutes.  Once brown, uses tongs to remove.  I put a colander in a bowl to drain the extra grease off.

Then I made a Sriracha Ranch dipping sauce because I have a weird thing with ketchup (meaning I don’t love it, and if I do eat it, it needs to be room temperature).  Mix 1/2 cup Ranch with 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce.  Why I have Sriracha sauce is completely beyond me but adding it with ranch was one of the greater decisions I had made in a while.

So naturally I decided I need to deep fry more things so I made some avocado fries and for the memories of frying chicken at K-2, I fried up some chicken then the oil splashed on me so I called it quits.

I may or may not have made an entire meal out of friend food.  I have no regrets. Although I wish I would have taken a picture.


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