3 cups vegetable oil (for frying) 1 pound large fresh okra 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 cup buttermilk Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing for dipping
Okra bites fried in a light batter with a touch of spice.
Pour oil in heavy-duty saucepan. Heat over medium flame until about 350°F.
Wash okra and pat dry. Remove ends and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in pie plate or other deep plate. Pour buttermilk into medium-size bowl.
When oil is hot, coat okra in buttermilk in small batches, then drop into flour mixture in a single layer. Shake plate to coat pieces. Drop floured okra into frying oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon and cool on paper towels. Coating adheres best when fried soon after coating.
Serve warm or at room temperature with ranch dressing for dipping.
Note: Can be made a few hours ahead. Prepare as above and leave on paper towels at room temperature, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, place on baking sheet. Reheat at 350°F. for about 10 minutes or until warm in the center.