Place the cornmeal, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne into a resealable zip-top plastic bag. Add the okra and shake to coat thoroughly. Return the okra to a dry colander and shake off excess cornmeal.
Add enough peanut oil to a 12-inch stainless steel sauté pan to completely cover the bottom of the pan about ⅓ inch deep. Place over medium-high heat and bring the oil to 375°F. Add the okra and fry until golden brown, turning once and replenishing oil as needed, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove the okra from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula to paper towels to drain. Season with more salt, if desired, and allow to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Photography by Robert M. Peacock
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, June/July 2014