Friday, March 18, 2005

Deep Fried Vegetables

A lot of things here in the South are Deep Fried.

The only deep fried vegetables I had ever eaten back home was probably Japanese Tempura dishes. But I've noticed that in Texas ( and in the South ), vegetables like okra ( or lady's fingers to Malaysians ) are deep fried..along with squashes.

Now "squash" as a vegetable ( and not as a sport or a meaning akin to squish ) was a new term to me when I got to the States. I've always known and loved cucumbers, but squashes, although some of them looked like cucumbers, were way different.

Cindy made some fried squash for lunch today, so I thought I'd just share some recipes I found online. Enjoy!


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Squashes are four species of the genus Cucurbita, also called pumpkins and marrows depending on variety or the nationality of the speaker. Squashes are categorized as summer squash or winter squash, depending on when they are harvested.

Squash is native to North America and was one of the "Three Sisters" planted by Native Americans.

The Three Sisters were the three main indigenous plants used for agriculture: maize (corn), beans, and squash.

These were usually planted together, with the cornstalk providing support for the climbing beans, and shade for the squash. The squash vines provided groundcover to limit weeds.

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Fried Squash or Zucchini

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The flour/cornmeal mixture is very light but results in a slightly crisp texture.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
2 pounds zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into about 1/2-inch slices
1-1/2 quarts canola or other cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
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Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and cornmeal.

  2. Add the squash slices and toss to coat.

  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep pan, being certain the pan is large enough to hold the oil without it spilling over when the squash is added.

  4. The oil should be hot, but not smoking.

  5. Add about half of the squash and fry, stirring constantly, until tender and lightly browned, adjusting heat as needed.

  6. Remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and place on paper towels. Sprinkle immediately with salt, pepper and the optional cheese. Meanwhile, repeat the process with the remaining squash.

  7. Serve immediately.

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Fried Okra

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Ingredients:

3 cups Okra, fresh sliced
1 cup Flour, all-purpose
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups Buttermilk
1 Egg
2 cups Cornmeal
1 cup Flour
1 Tbsp. Salt
4 cups Vegetable Oil

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Directions

  1. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet to 325°F. Mix the flour, creole seasoning and salt in a bowl. Beat together the buttermilk and egg in a second bowl. In a third bowl combine cornmeal, flour and salt
  2. Place the okra in the seasoned flour first, knock off the excess flour and place in the buttermilk. Drain well. Coat with cornmeal mixture and drop into fryer. Fry until golden, approx. 7 minutes, and serve warm.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a fan of deep fried stuff. Baking and soup/curries is more my cup of tea.

11 comments:

SiaoChaBoa said...

Amen! to soups and curries.. ;)

KEF said...

Me like tempura only ;) Quick fries ;)

Monica said...

I don't eat much Okra, I wouldn't even know how to cook it

and we don't deep fry these things here, except french fries, it MUST be southern!!!
I like Squash or Zucchini, but usually its sautéed or something like that as a side dish

Monica said...

well, I guess you dont really deep fry french fries!! shows you how well "I" can cook (hee hee)


Ok so maybe we only fry them here!!!!!

makuahine said...

Ew. Haha.
That's what I get for marrying a man born in GA who his father's family all lives in MS. They eat stuff I've never even heard of, and we live in the same country! Or do we? lol
I just remember the first time I was presented with Okra - only they all say it "oak-ree" - it was scary. I did try it, and no, I don't like it. ;-)

anna. said...

yuck, can't stand ladies fingers... though on the pictures everything looks DELICIOUS !!

Candace said...

Fried okra = Texas popcorn. :)

FoFuSa said...

Now you've made me homesick! What I wouldn't give for a big plate of fried okra! YUM!

-ms jumbled mind- said...

you always have notty-looking things on your site..notty notty letti :P LMAO

Sharron said...

If you've never tried fried zuchinni flowers...those are the absolute best. Especially in the summer!

letti said...

Gravatar Wow, I didn't even hear about squash before!

Although I don't cook, but this post is really an eye-opener to me!

Thanks for posting and introducing to us about squash (hmm, such a weird name) *giggles*
teddY | Homepage | 03.19.05 - 1:45 am | #

Fried Okra interesting lol I might try that. I always eat it steamed dipped in soy sauce lol!
Ria | Homepage | 03.19.05 - 3:01 am | #

Gravatar Have to admit I've never tried Okra. Looks good though. Think I'll ask my wife to try that recipe out.
Raven | Homepage | 03.19.05 - 8:43 am | #

fried ocra with crayfish gumbo and a scoop of rice... i love cajun food! yum :*
dreaming-neko | Homepage | 03.19.05 - 1:27 pm | #

Gravatar hey letti, it seems we share the same recipie..i mean..i like curries too..
talking abt Penang born person here... i really miss the good food in Penang
Gene Lim | 03.20.05 - 8:27 pm | #