fresh okra. You can feed one person with a big handful of pods, so think in handful per person. corn meal
milk (or buttermilk)
canola (or some kind of vegetable) oil--you don't want to use olive oil for this, I imagine
paper towels help a lot
big non-stick frying pan (or cast iron, if you have it)
What you do:
1. Crack an egg into a medium sized bowl and stir it up a little.
2. Add some milk to that egg. You want the mixture to cover your okra when you put it into the bowl.
3. Wash the okra and chop off the ends of each pod.
4. Slice the okra into 1/2 inch or so rounds, tossing it into your bowl of milk & egg as you go. The okra will get slimey and gross. Don't worry.
5. Let the okra soak for about 10 minutes.
6. Get out your frying pan and put maybe a half inch of oil in it. Put it on the stove and turn your heat on to medium highish (and remember: my stove is sad and old, so you may need to just figure this out on your own). Leave that to heat while you do the next few things.
7. Get a freezer sized ziploc bag and put a whole lot of corn meal in it. Add some pepper. You could also use a tupperware container or something like for this, or in a pinch just put a bunch of cornmeal in a bowl.
8. Scoop the soaked okra out of the bowl with a slotted spoon (or sieve, or whatever), let it drain a little bit, and put it in the bag with the corn meal. Try not to transfer big slimey bits of egg that want to stick to your spoon into the corn meal.
9. Seal the bag. Shake it up and fondle it a bit. You're trying to make sure every single piece of that okra is coated.
10. Dump your bag of okra and cornmeal into a colander (over a bowl or whatever you want to use to catch the corn meal). Wiggle the okra around to get some of the cornmeal out. Don't expect to get it all, if you're using a sieve. Worry about it as you go.
11. Drop one piece of okra into your oil. If it sizzles (and it ought to, by now), you're ready to go.
12. Once your oil is hot enough, start adding the okra to the oil. You don't have to be super-precise about this, but it helps if you get it in there with a flat side down and not on the side. Just keep adding okra until the pan is full.
13. Shortly after the time you get one batch into the pan, you'll want to start turning the okra from wherever you started adding it. It ought to be a nice golden brown color, and if it's not just wait a little more.
14. While it's cooking a little, get out a plate and cover it with paper towels. You want a couple of layers. If you don't have paper towels, use a paper bag or some coffee filters (or a combination thereof).
15. Take the okra up with a slotted spoon and dump it on your lined plate. Salt it. Eat it as soon as it's cool enough.