Fried milkweed pods with a cornmeal crust. These proportions will serve 2-4 people as an appetizer or side dish (see note).
Keyword: Milkweed Pods
4ozyoung milkweed podsin the range of 1-2inches
Buttermilk as needed for soaking the podsabout 1 cup
Rendered bear fat, or cooking oil as needed for sauteing/frying
1cupfine cornmealyou can add up to 25% coarse cornmeal for extra crunch here if you like
Good pinch of spices, like paprika or curry powder see note
Dipping sauce(s) for serving such as hot sauce, or a mayonnaise or yogurt based dip like ranch, etc
Mix the corn meal and spices.
Blanch the pods in boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove, cool, and mix with the buttermilk. Allow the pods to sit for an hour or two (they can be fried right away if you have to) then remove the pods with a slotted spoon and toss with the cornmeal to coat.
Tap off excess cornmeal, and transfer the pods to a hot, pan with a layer of bear fat and cook until golden, turning or tossing occasionally and adding extra oil as needed if the pan gets dry (you can also deep fry them).
Let the milkweed pods cool on a paper towel to drain excess oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and allow to cool a bit before eating since they’ll be very hot. Serve with hot sauce or your favorite dip on the side.
Safety Milkweed pods are blanched here to ensure no one gets tummy rumbles, which can happen to some people if they're cooked from raw. This recipe is so simple that you don't need a recipe, but I'm including suggested proportions here as an example of what a conservative, modest serving looks like. Once you try some and find they agree with you (and more importantly, your family or others) you can eat slightly larger amounts if you like.Spices A generous pinch (1/2-1 teaspoon) of spices are usually good for a cup of cornmeal. If you want to serve them with something minimalist, like hot sauce, season the cornmeal more heavily than if you're serving with a mayonnaise or yogurt based dip, since those flavors are stronger. Some people might like to add onion or garlic powder, but use a light hand with that stuff since it gets offensive fast. Here's a few options I like: