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Carolina Okra Beignets
- 1 pound small, firm, fresh okra
- 2 medium onions, minced
- ½ small green bell pepper, seeded and minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- Vegetable shortening for deep-frying
Rinse okra, remove stems, and thinly slice pods. In a bowl, combine okra, onions, and bell pepper, and toss till well blended. Add flour, bread crumbs, and ½ teaspoon salt, and toss again. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, half-and-half, and Tabasco till well blended, pour over the okra mixture, stir till well blended, and let stand for about 30 minutes. In a large, heavy skillet, heat about 1 inch of shortening to 375˚ on a deep-fat thermometer, drop okra mixture by tablespoons into hot oil, fry till golden brown and crisp on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with a little extra salt. Serve piping hot.