You read that right. Beer, quinoa and okra together in one phenomenal appetizer. Or hell, call it dinner if you want. You’ve got your veggies, your proteins, carbs and fats all rolled into one dish. But eat a salad though, it’s good for you. Plus we don’t want anyone blaming me for pushing poor nutrition choices, now do we?
The idea came about after getting a bunch of purple okra in my Pinckney’s Produce box last week, then grabbing more from the swap box when I subbed out my corn and some of the turnips, with the intention of making fried okra. Then I remembered this awesome quinoa battered onion ring recipe from cheese yes please that I tried and liked last fall. After reading the recipe this morning and feeling like a grocery store trip was not in my cards because unnnghhh, my next thought was “Forget buying carbonated water, I’ll use the next
best thing- Busch Lite!”
We have a never-ending supply of it in the house because Patrick loves it. Hey, why don’t we have stock in Anheuser-Busch? Seriously, why don’t we? With the plan in mind I excitedly got home and pulled out the ingredients I was going to use. Fried okra, yeah! The amount of ingredients needed will vary depending on how much you’re making, but this is based on approximately 20 pieces of okra. It’s pretty eye-ball-able, so overestimate the amount of batter and quinoa you’ll need and you’ll be fine!
Beer Battered Quinoa Okra Fingers
- 20 pieces of whole okra (do not wash it! do not!)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I like the fun look of tri-colored quinoa)
- 1 room temperature beer*, you’ll use about half (Busch Light for less flavor, a fuller bodied beer for complexity)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, divided
- deep fryer full of hot oil
- cayenne pepper to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- generous amounts of tasty flavoring agents such as: garlic powder, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, chipotle chili powder, combine to your tastes)
- Heat the fryer oil up to 375 degrees.
- Use three bowls with a good flat, wide surface area. Your deep cereal bowls won’t be doing you any favors here.
- In the leftmost bowl, put a half cup of whole wheat flour. Put a dish towel to the left of this bowl. Have the okra behind this bowl.
- In the center bowl put in the other half cup of whole wheat flour and start whisking in the room temperature beer until the batter is of a pancake batter-like consistency. Whisk thoroughly to make sure the flour is all incorporated and not lumping up on the bottom as flour tends to do.
- In the rightmost bowl, have your uncooked quinoa ready. Put a large plate behind this bowl.
- Holding the okra by it’s top, roll the okra in the flour on the left.
- Dip it in the batter in the middle.
- Coat it in the quinoa on the right. Set on the plate.
- Repeat until the plate is full, then transfer the okras gently into the fryer. Do not crowd the fryer, just send one layer in for a hot oil bath at a time.
- Fry three minutes until golden brown, dumping out the finished okra onto a plate generously lined with paper towels.
- Keep repeating steps 6-10 until it’s all done, and enjoy!
By the way, don’t eat the very top of the okra, as it’s woodier than the rest of the pod.
Because I only had so much okra and quinoa on hand, there was still a lot of batter left over, but no more quinoa. What’s a girl to do but pull out a can of Italian bread crumbs and two onions and make her lovely husband a plate of beer battered onion rings? (To make these, replace the quinoa in the above recipe with Italian bread crumbs- aka panko- and add a lot more of your seasoning of choice to the beer batter and follow the same directions!).
I’d like to say that after we devoured ALL of this fried food, we ate salads and drank cucumber juice, but you know that wasn’t the case. But you totally should. What else should you do? Please go like my photo on the Pinckney’s Produce Facebook page so I can win a free fall share! It’s on the right hand side under Posts by Others. I’d really appreciate it, thanks!!
*Why room temperature beer? Because cold beer will spatter more when it hits the hot oil and that hurts, plus it’ll cool down your oil and not fry as well!