Friday, January 13, 2012

Family Recipe Friday - Fried Poke

This is probably considered a "poor man's dish", since it is obtained from the wild fauna about us here in the mountains.

As a teenager, we moved to the mountains, and Mama introduced us to some "good eats"! One of them being the lowly poke plant.

Around these parts, poke plants grow on the edge of forested areas. They have a long slender, fibrous stalk, and broad flat, green leaves. The entire plant, stalk and leaves, is edible.

Take the leaves for instance. They can be eaten in a salad, or stirred into scrambled eggs while cooking them. Either way is delicious!

To make poke salad, simply wash and dry the leaves as you would for lettuce. If the leaves are large, tear into smaller pieces.

Fry 6 pieces of bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towel to drain. Keep bacon grease. Add 1/4 cup cider vinegar and 2-tbsp. cane sugar to bacon grease. Heat thoroughly. Pour over poke leaves and toss. Add crumbled bacon, diced onion and diced boiled egg. Toss. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve.

Or you can take the stem of the plant and fry it, much as you would okra.

Wash poke stems and blot dry with tea towel. Cut stems into 2 to 3-inch lengths.
Dip stems in egg, then roll in cornmeal and fry over medium-high heat until slightly crispy.
This is really good with fish, or eaten in combination with poke salad!

The lowly poke plant provides alot of nutrients for the "poor man's diet".

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