Southern-fried okra

INGREDIENTS1/2 pound fresh okra, rinsed, drained, tips and tops trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch slices crosswiseSalt and freshly ground black pepper1 tablespoon water3/4 cup fine-ground white cornmeal1 tablespoon cornstarchOil for fryingDIRECTIONSPut the sliced okra in a mixing bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the water and toss to evenly mix.Whisk together the cornmeal, cornstarch, ? teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.Heat 3 inches of oil in a heavy pot to 350 F.When the oil is heated, toss the sliced and seasoned okra in the cornmeal mixture. Coat evenly and shake gently in a sieve to remove any extra dredge. Fry in the hot oil until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain well and, if needed, season with a light sprinkling of salt. Serve immediately.
? 2008 MSNBC Interactive

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