First, let me say that it's been soooooo long since I've blogged that I'm surprised I remembered my password.
BUT I did...and here I am! Blogging about......OKRA! Snotty ol' okra. ☺
So, the Google search was on when I knew we were getting 1 lb. of okra in our produce basket last week. The only way I've ever ate okra was in a deep fried form...it is good...but my first thought was how to TRY and make this somewhat healthy? My second thought was, isn't this stuff really slimy on the inside? So, I typed: How to not keep okra from being slimy AND healthy okra recipes. Nothing. Well, I shouldn't say nothing...I guess I did find some non-snotty tips and a few lame recipes, but nothing that really jumped out at me. So, I did what most home cooks do and went to All Recipes (that is what we all do, right?) in search for some other ways to prepare it. Looking for something NOT FRIED and NOT GUMBO. Nothing personal against the Gumbo, but it's like 105 degrees in our neck of the woods and I eat enough soups, stews, chowders and gumbos during the winter months to kill a horse. So NO Gumbo, please!
Unfortunately, my search there didn't come up with a whole lot either, but here are a few recipes that jumped out to me:
GRILLED OKRA - Grilled? Healthy? Yes! So, I tried it. Again...100 degree weather and the grill are not friends either so I decided to broil them instead. Easy! 3 ingredients: Okra, butter (or oil), cajun seasoning. The recipe called for entirely too much butter and enough seasoning to burn my tongue off so I just did my own thing. Here is what I did:
I put 1/2 lb. of the okra in a plastic bag, drizzled 1T canola oil and sprinkled 1T Cajun seasoning in the bag. Shake. Shake. Shake. Placed on a baking sheet and broiled for about 5-7 minutes on each side. The okra should have a nice black char on the outside of them. After letting them cool, I tried them. The verdict? They were delicious! The larger pods should have cooked just a little bit longer, because the bigger ones still had some sliminess on the insides of them, but overall I would for sure make these again. Maybe next time I'll actually grill them and hope for just a little more char broiled crunch!!! Sorry...no pictures...I started eating them and before I knew it they were gone!
OKRA PATTIES - Yes, these are still basically fried, but not DEEP fried....so I thought I would give them a try. After grilling the first 1/2 lb, I only had 1/2 lb left, so I just cut the recipe in half. Here are a few other changes I made: I only used 1/4 cup of oil for a shallow fry (the recipe called for 3 cups...GEEZ!!!), I also used buttermilk in place of the water, and added a sprinkle of garlic powder....it just seemed like the right thing to do. Anyway....they were just....okay??? They were really missing that crunch factor I was hoping for. The flavor was very good though. The onion and the okra balanced each other nicely, but the texture was it's downfall. It more like a cake, still moist on the inside and kind of had some of the slimy snot thing going on, but nothing too terrible. Probably won't make these again....I'm thinking the next time I go the fried route I'm gonna try this recipe: OKRA FRITTERS
So far, I've got to say.....my favorite way to eat okra was RAW. Good ol' non-snotty FRESH okra! The most healthy version of all....who knew??? So, if it happens to be summer and you are having people over....don't forget the okra on your veggie tray. In it's raw form there is no slime. It has a great flavor, perfect crunch and great for dipping. Hmmm...I wouldn't mind some right now to dip in my favorite dip of all time.....some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Chow!