I’m a Cornhusker by birth (Go Big Red!), but I’ve lived in Virginia almost my entire life, so I’m allowed to say y’all. That said, I live in the exurbs of Northern Virginia . . . so I have to use it sparingly.
My daughter and I are having Girls Night (our boys are away doing boy things). I told her I’d make anything she wanted for dinner. Her choice? Fried Okra. Atta girl!! Fried Okra is one of the best foods the South has to offer.
I love almost all southern food. With the exception of pork rinds (ghastly) and boiled peanuts. My Georgia girlfriend says it’s pronounced, bald peenits. Right, then. Bald Peenits are gross. Peanuts aren’t supposed to squish when you eat them. And don’t tell me I haven’t tried the “right” boiled peanuts. I’ve given them more than a fair shake, trying them several times, even from a guy on the side of the road in South Carolina. Bald Peenits are gross.
But I digress. Fried Okra is another über-polarizing food — you either love it or you hate it. And I love it . . . in all its fried slime glory. When I was pregnant with my daughter, it’s all I ate — and my daughter has always loved fried okra. Coincidence??
Fried Okra is über-simple to make. It’s one of my no-recipe recipes. But I found a recipe online that’s super easy and super similar to what I make: Fried Okra. All you need is okra (I use frozen when I can’t get my hands on fresh and it’s just as delicious), egg, cornmeal, vegetable or canola oil and salt. Lots of salt.
You’ll notice I pan fry my okra. I’ve made it in “nugget” form in my deep fryer, but man-alive does that make a mess. Have you ever cleaned corn meal out of a deep fryer before? If you have, you know why I pan fry the okra.
And what to pair with our Fried Okra? Anytime I see the word fried, my wine pairing brain goes straight to Bubbles . . . do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Bubbles.
Tonight, I selected Gruet Blanc de Noirs. Mostly because that was the only bottle of bubbles in my wine fridge. And yes, my daughter has her own mini-Champagne glass (it’s a cordial glass). Because I’m that mom.
I love this pairing . . . is there any fried food Bubbles can’t make better?