The author and cook, Heather

Cornmeal Fried Okra with Tabasco Mayo

Poole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner

This is probably one of the easiest ways to batter and fry a vegetable that I've ever tried. I was really surprised at how well it worked, and how good this was with the okra halved lengthwise! The Tabasco mayo (we used Texas Pete because we had a lot on hand) was a great dipping sauce as well, and using my immersion blender made it even easier.

I used this method later for fried green tomatoes, and it worked just as well. I'll be doing this again for sure!

Cider mayo (the easy way) video:

You can find this recipe here:

Serving Size1/8 recipe, approximate
Carbohydrates40g (3g sugar, 3g fiber)


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather on this week's episode we
[00:08]: are going to be making
[00:09]: cornmeal fried okra with tabasco mayo
[00:12]: out of ashley christensen's pools diner
[00:15]: cookbook
[00:16]: have to say i have made this before uh
[00:19]: it is actually a really easy recipe it
[00:22]: was a lot easier than i expected
[00:24]: so the first step in this recipe is to
[00:27]: make the tabasco mayo now i did
[00:29]: make this basic cider mayo with my
[00:32]: immersion blender and i recorded it this
[00:34]: time and we're going to have that as a
[00:35]: separate video
[00:36]: so i'll link that down below and
[00:40]: i've already reduced the hot sauce now
[00:43]: she calls for tabasco
[00:45]: we had a very large jar of
[00:48]: uh texas pete in the refrigerator so
[00:51]: that's what we used instead of tabasco
[00:53]: for this
[00:53]: but so we reduced this by half um
[00:57]: i just i checked it a few times it took
[00:59]: me about 15 minutes of simmering
[01:01]: um and it turns into a very sort of in
[01:04]: the pan when it's still warm it's sort
[01:06]: of a very thin
[01:07]: ketchupy consistency it gets a lot
[01:09]: thicker than the hot sauce
[01:12]: you hear you smell the vinegar when
[01:14]: that's happening just so you know
[01:17]: i did not measure this it says that the
[01:20]: cyber mayo
[01:21]: makes a cup and a half and we're
[01:23]: supposed to have two cups for this
[01:25]: recipe
[01:26]: it really looks more like two cups to me
[01:28]: it's about half of this quart
[01:30]: which is two cups so we're just gonna
[01:32]: put the
[01:34]: reduced hot sauce into the full batch of
[01:37]: basic cider mayo that we just made so
[01:40]: and i'm just going to stir it up in this
[01:44]: jar and
[01:47]: we will have that
[01:51]: all right so i'm just going gonna
[01:54]: try to get this stirred in as best i can
[01:59]: you could use a whisk and that would uh
[02:01]: probably be a lot easier than this
[02:04]: but um i'm just gonna stir it up
[02:10]: she says to stir it
[02:14]: [Music]
[02:17]: all right so that is the
[02:20]: tabasco or texas pete in our case
[02:25]: mayo that we are going to dip our
[02:28]: cornmeal fried okra
[02:29]: into after we make it
[02:33]: we'll be back to make the okra okay
[02:37]: so keep an eye on my oil temperature
[02:39]: it's still coming up but it's almost
[02:40]: there
[02:42]: i have my okra i have trimmed off the
[02:46]: very tip of the ends where it was kind
[02:48]: of you know brown
[02:50]: and then slice them in half lengthwise
[02:54]: and i have some peanut oil here because
[02:57]: that's kind of what i had a lot of
[02:58]: and go ahead and use it because i used
[03:01]: it for the fried okra that i made
[03:03]: out of the deep run roofs cookbook and
[03:05]: so we'll at the end we'll do a little
[03:07]: comparison i think
[03:09]: here i have some cornmeal with salt and
[03:12]: that's all that's in here
[03:13]: uh we have some white cornmeal for this
[03:15]: because i was out of cornmeal and i saw
[03:18]: my husband could find at the grocery
[03:19]: store so
[03:20]: i usually buy yellow we have white this
[03:22]: time and then
[03:24]: this is just plain buttermilk
[03:28]: so we're going to put some of this
[03:32]: in the buttermilk
[03:36]: and it doesn't have to soak we're just
[03:38]: getting it
[03:42]: coated with the buttermilk so that we
[03:44]: can make the
[03:45]: cornmeal stick i'm going for 325 degrees
[03:50]: on this oil
[03:54]: not quite there but i've got my my
[03:57]: burner up pretty high so it's going up
[03:59]: pretty
[04:00]: quickly i'm going to turn it down a
[04:02]: little bit because that's about where i
[04:04]: keep it
[04:07]: when i'm frying excuse my
[04:10]: new crew member who might show herself
[04:14]: i'm gonna try to keep one dry hand and
[04:17]: one wet hand while i do this because i'm
[04:19]: gonna do this mostly with my hands
[04:20]: because it's just so much easier
[04:22]: but i will have to wash my hands a lot
[04:23]: in between but so we're gonna get a
[04:25]: batch
[04:26]: in here it should take three to four
[04:29]: minutes
[04:30]: to fry um yeah we're about there
[04:34]: so i'm going to try to make my right
[04:36]: hand my dry hand because that is
[04:38]: i'm right-handed and i have better
[04:39]: control there
[04:41]: so i'm just going to get this um
[04:44]: okra all covered coated with
[04:48]: um buttermilk and then we
[04:51]: are going to drop it in
[04:55]: the cornmeal
[04:58]: and get it all coated
[05:02]: and then try to make sure i don't have
[05:04]: too much on there
[05:06]: and put it in
[05:09]: the oil to fry so she says either a
[05:13]: just a heavy bottom sauce pan like this
[05:16]: or a um a
[05:19]: dutch oven it's just easier for us to
[05:21]: wash these so
[05:24]: dutch ovens are kind of a pain in the
[05:27]: cookies if you don't actually need them
[05:29]: and there's
[05:30]: plenty of oil in here all right
[05:34]: now i'm going to put some more
[05:37]: in my cornmeal
[05:40]: just to get a nice batch going
[05:46]: and i'm going to drip all over my stove
[05:48]: while i do this but that's okay
[06:01]: so just trying to put them in where
[06:04]: there's
[06:05]: no other corn no other pieces of okra
[06:09]: so it won't like stick to it and
[06:14]: i think you can probably get all of this
[06:16]: into
[06:17]: one pan
[06:32]: i've got a um
[06:34]: [Music]
[06:36]: a baking sheet back there with
[06:40]: uh paper towels just ready for this
[06:44]: to be um put on there when it is
[06:47]: done and i'm supposed to be turning this
[06:50]: and i will when i'm done with getting
[06:52]: all of it in here i will
[06:55]: turn it to make sure it gets
[06:59]: brown on both sides because you know
[07:01]: sometimes
[07:02]: especially when it's not um round
[07:06]: it won't turn itself over but i think
[07:08]: that's probably
[07:09]: as much as i can do in a batch i'm gonna
[07:11]: wash my hands and be right back
[07:14]: so i have tongs i'm just going to make
[07:16]: sure that
[07:20]: my okra is getting fried well on both
[07:23]: sides and when it is
[07:25]: golden brown everywhere it is done
[07:29]: and it should not take that long
[07:30]: [Music]
[07:32]: to to cook honestly
[07:42]: might be a little bit low
[07:46]: just want to manage your temperature
[07:47]: pretty well
[07:52]: and she does not tell you to um salt
[07:55]: these when they come
[07:56]: out of the fryer which often
[07:59]: even though you've salted the breading
[08:02]: people will tell you to do that
[08:04]: but uh so i'm not going to bother
[08:07]: and hopefully that'll be good i was
[08:11]: really really shocked the first time i
[08:12]: made these that
[08:13]: the cornmeal stuck as well as it does
[08:17]: without anything but some buttermilk but
[08:20]: uh
[08:20]: it does it it works really well
[08:24]: all right so i think this piece is
[08:27]: pretty brown on both sides i'm going to
[08:29]: call that done and take it out
[08:32]: and she says to basically um
[08:36]: keep it going and serve it fresh and hot
[08:41]: to your guests with the tabasco
[08:44]: mayo and just sort of keep
[08:49]: serving up keep frying batches and
[08:52]: eating them
[08:53]: as you can these are really really
[08:55]: delicious honestly we had them from the
[08:57]: from the restaurant recently so we'll be
[08:59]: able to
[09:00]: uh compare and contrast
[09:05]: you can see that they uh they really do
[09:07]: the cornmeal makes a really good coating
[09:10]: on it
[09:11]: all right that's my first batch done i'm
[09:14]: going to
[09:15]: basically just keep doing the exact same
[09:18]: thing
[09:18]: until i have fried up all of my okra
[09:23]: um if you want you can turn your oven
[09:26]: to uh 200 degrees ish
[09:29]: and just put these in there and they
[09:31]: will stay warm for a while that's what
[09:33]: we did with the
[09:34]: deep run roots fried um okra
[09:38]: but yeah that should work just fine i
[09:40]: think i'm gonna do probably about three
[09:42]: batches here
[09:44]: just that's how much it will take
[09:47]: um go ahead and start getting these in
[09:50]: here but yeah that's that's
[09:51]: it and we will be back and let you know
[09:53]: what we thought
[09:54]: of these and how they stacked up to the
[09:57]: deep run roots ones and how they stacked
[09:59]: up to the ones
[10:00]: at the restaurant
[10:12]: on this episode of cooking the books
[10:14]: with heather you watch me make
[10:15]: cornmeal fried okra with tabasco mayo
[10:18]: from
[10:19]: ashley christensen's pools diner
[10:21]: cookbook
[10:22]: and like i said i had made this
[10:24]: previously and was very
[10:26]: um surprised by how well it turned out
[10:30]: and how easy it was because often
[10:32]: battering and frying things
[10:34]: is a difficult process but this
[10:37]: turned out really great um
[10:40]: the buttermilk makes the cornmeal stick
[10:44]: it all fried up just
[10:47]: as she said it was super easy
[10:50]: um unlike the deep prone roots recipe
[10:54]: that we did
[10:55]: uh and for this recipe you cut the
[10:59]: okra in half lengthwise so there are a
[11:01]: few more pieces
[11:03]: but still easier than the
[11:06]: standard southern recipe where you flop
[11:08]: fry it in sort of
[11:10]: coin type pieces so
[11:13]: yeah i would definitely make this recipe
[11:16]: again because well if i have buttermilk
[11:19]: on hand which
[11:20]: often now i do and i'm looking for
[11:23]: something to use it up with and so this
[11:25]: is a good
[11:26]: way and in fact i used the method and
[11:30]: made
[11:31]: fried green tomatoes because it is
[11:34]: it's now october i think it was
[11:36]: september when we first made this and
[11:39]: anyway it's now october and i was pretty
[11:42]: much done with my
[11:44]: tomato plants but there were a few green
[11:46]: ones left and i decided to use this
[11:47]: method
[11:48]: to make fried green tomatoes which is
[11:51]: one of the pictures in the book
[11:53]: she has the okra and then also some
[11:55]: fried green tomatoes with it
[11:58]: it worked out just as well for the
[11:59]: tomatoes so
[12:01]: uh and it only it has ingredients that i
[12:03]: generally have on hand at least for the
[12:06]: um for the coating is cornmeal and sugar
[12:09]: and that uh as easy uh it was crispy it
[12:13]: was crunchy it was salty
[12:15]: uh it was it was great so it and it uses
[12:20]: a little bit less i think he i think she
[12:24]: probably they're fried pretty much the
[12:25]: same
[12:27]: as the um deeper on roots recipe
[12:31]: but i used probably less oil for this in
[12:34]: a more shallow pan because that's
[12:38]: easier for me and this was a little bit
[12:41]: less prescriptive as to exactly how you
[12:44]: should fry it
[12:44]: and i try to follow the recipes as well
[12:47]: as i can
[12:49]: also the tabasco mayo was it's really
[12:52]: good
[12:53]: it's too spicy for the kids
[12:56]: because you know kids but you could
[12:58]: obviously just like with the ranch ice
[12:60]: cream in the other recipe you could dip
[13:01]: these in whatever you want you could
[13:03]: make
[13:03]: any other sort of creamy dipping sauce
[13:07]: or you could use
[13:08]: ranch dressing and if you want to dip
[13:10]: them
[13:11]: have something else to dip them
[13:14]: and following this recipe it turned out
[13:17]: almost exactly like
[13:19]: the okra that we had from the restaurant
[13:22]: so we ordered some not long before we
[13:24]: made this
[13:26]: and it was very comparable so
[13:29]: this is something you can make at home
[13:31]: that will taste
[13:32]: just like the restaurant and
[13:37]: i made the mayo with my immersion
[13:39]: blender and i
[13:40]: will link the recipe i showed you guys
[13:43]: how i did that
[13:44]: i'll link that above and that was super
[13:46]: easy
[13:47]: definitely easier than the ranch ice
[13:49]: cream because
[13:50]: ice cream maker is always a bit of a
[13:54]: wild card right
[13:56]: so if you enjoyed watching me make this
[13:59]: please give me a thumbs up hit the
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