Friday, August 12, 2011

"REAL" Southern Okra

At Least "My" Southern Okra!
Isn't all Okra southern?
Yeh, probably!

There are many universally accepted health foods.
photo by: Michal Marcol
There are plenty of blogs out there who are preparing health foods everyday. I use many of their recipes and they are not only healthy but very tasty and visually appealing.

Okra is in season for us right now.
Steamed okra is health food!

Fried okra is NOT a health food.
 This is Comfort Food! 

When we get home with our purchase of crisp, fresh okra we immediately prepare the first one or two meals as steamed okra. 
Choose the smallest and very tender pods. Clean the pods and snip off the very tip of the stem, leaving the top of the pod intact.
Place the pods in a steamer and cook til "crisp tender". Better undercooked than overcooked. 
Serve immediately with lemon and/or butter. Some serve as an appetizer with a dip. However at that point is ceases to be health food.

Sometimes we just want comfort food!

What's left of the batch or mess (as we in the south call it) of okra is fried. 
There is a method to frying okra to achieve that crisp, nutty flavor and not end up with greasy mush.

After washing, cut the okra in small round slices. In a ziplock bag or lidded plastic contain add about one-half cup of cornmeal, salt and pepper to taste. Place the okra in batches to the cornmeal and shake until all is coated. You have to add a little more cornmeal. Be stingy with the cornmeal. You don't wanted it in the bottom of the fry pan.
When all the okra has been coated place all the coated okra, in the covered container, in the refrigerator. Let stand fifteen minutes to all day.
Place an iron skillet on medium /high heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil. When the oil is hot place okra into pan in small batches. Just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet NO MORE! Reduce heat to medium/low. 
I could have put more in this pan.
Let brown slowly, I can walk away and do other things. Turn to brown on all sides. We like a, little past, golden brown as that increases the nutty like flavor.
Ah! That's looking good.
Remove browned okra to paper towels while you cook the next batch. Follow the same process, getting the olive oil hot then reducing to medium/low. For Bob and I, I cook in two small batches. When the family is here I have two pans going at once. 
If you follow these instructions, I promise that you will have a crispy, tasty and non mushy treat!!!

I have served this dish to people who had never tasted okra, people who had tasted okra and said NEVER again. They now love fried okra.

I am not recommending this everyday. Once, twice or three times a season is a special treat.

Here is our occasional comfort food treat!

Try it, you'll like it!!

I am linking to the following parties. Link back to them for inspirational blogs.


Raindrops and Daisies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raindrops and Daisies said...

Beautiful photographs of gret food.

Thanks for your comments on Raindrops & Daisies and I'm your newest follower.
maybe you could follow back?

Looking forward to reading more of your great blog.

~Fiona @Raindrops & Daisies

Babs said...

Gosh Ginger, you have me hungry for fried okra snd it isn't evern
7 am yet. I've never tried steamed okra. Is it not slimy? My mom used to boil it, until it was slimy. Ick. She liked it though. But fried okra is a special treat. I haven't seen fresh okra around here in a long time. Now I'm hungry for it Thanks a lot Ginger. LOL
I have seen it frozen, so I may have to resort to that.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Fried is the only way for me to eat okra. Love it.

Honey at 2805 said...

Just the way I like them!!

Martha said...

We love okra -- I often do stewed okra with tomatoes and onions. It's healthy!!!

mississippi artist said...

I love okra any way you can make it.I grew Cajun okra this year and even if I let the pods get really long, it is still tender and delicious.

upnorth said...

Thanks for popping over to my site! I think I had the recipe on the site last year, but I will put it up again! This kid has been getting this cake for at least 20 years! It's really good and freezes well!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I've never had okra in anything except Gumbo! This sounds great, now I just have to find some fresh okra:@)

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Hate to say it, I don't like okra, I've tried it a couple of times and it must have been cooked improperly because it was slimy. :( BUT, since I love anything fried, you are right, I am sure I'd love your fried okra! It certainly looks delicious. YUM.

Barbara F. said...

I tried making okra once-didn't turn out too well! I didn't care for the okra but it could have been the way it was prepared. Your fried okra looks "pop-them-in-your-mouth-one- after-the-other goooooood! xo,

NanaDiana said...

One of my daughters all time favorite comfort foods- great suggestion and recipe...xo Diana

Mariette said...

Dearest Ginger,

Have you ever met people who tasted 'Orka'? That baby Shamu??? You wrote this: people who had tasted orka...
I had a good laugh but of course you still talk about the okra! My best friend does fry it the very same way you do! By the way, I LOVE those Le Creuset cast iron pans from France. They're heavy but the BEST!
Have a great weekend and thanks for this post. Someone has to promote the South! Oh, in India they use okra a lot in their curry dishes. It is one of the most healthy veggies in the world. To fry them in olive oil can't be that bad at all.

Love to you,

Mariette said...

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talk'n about! I LOVE fried okra, and will be using your technique from now on!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
We love fried okra down in Teaxs, this is my Husbands favorate food seeing his Mother made this all the time... I would like to thank you so much for your sweet comment on my new Tablescape.
I hope you have a great weekend with your sweet family.
XXOO Diane

Chatty Crone said...

I love Okra - but a lot of people don't! Those look delicious.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I've never eaten okra, Ginger, but you have inspired me to try! Thanks so much! I'm so happy to have found your wonderful blog!

Raindrops and Daisies said...

Hi there,

Got your message on my blog
but think you forgot to follow me like you said!!!

I'm following from Debbiedoos.


Ivy and Elephants said...

LOVE this post! Now THAT is real okra cooking there!!!Only REAL southerners know how to cook it, and you do it to perfection! Have you tried it with chilli powder and lime juice after frying?Yummy, we eat it like popcorn before dinner!

Debbie Moore at Slice of Pie Entertaining and Cookbooks said...

Oh, that looks so good! Gonna fry some for dinner! It's finally cooled off enough in Southern Illinois ... to actually get out the cast iron skillet!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Thanks for linking to the WhistleStop cafe... that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

classic • casual • home said...

I husband is a southern boy. I am going to make this for him. Following you!

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜@ Debbiedoos blogging and blabbing said...

Oh this looks so good Ginger. You made my mouth water!

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