Southern cooks like Punch Bowl Social’s Sergio Romero, who is from Mississippi, love serving fried dishes with sweet-spicy pepper jelly. Be sure to use fine cornmeal and tender young okra for the recipe here. Slideshow: Sensational Southern Recipes
In a medium saucepan, combine the buttermilk, garlic, Tabasco and 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard. Let the buttermilk cool completely.
Set a rack over a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, cayenne, black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Dip the okra in the buttermilk, letting the excess drip back into the pan, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Transfer the coated okra to the rack.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of canola oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the okra until golden, about 4 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the okra to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt. Serve the fried okra right away, with jalapeño pepper jelly.
Cut off the stems just at the base, leaving the pods intact, to avoid producing okra’s characteristic slime.