I get a little nervous in the kitchen when I have to cook something and don’t really have any idea what the end product should look like or how it should taste. I have never eaten fried okra. In fact, I believe I’ve only ever had okra in soups.
You would think that that kind of uncertainty would make me stick closely to the recipe, but it had the opposite effect. I read the recipe for okra in Charlotte Hume’s The Big Veg Challenge and then changed almost everything about it. This veggie mission is starting to mess with my head, or at least inflate it!
Start by cleaning about 20 okra pieces and cutting off both tough ends of each one. Then cut the okra up into 1/2 inch slices. As you begin to cut, you will find that okra slime oozes out of the vegetable and covers everything: your knife, your cutting board, your hands. In order to dry out the okra, Hume suggests that you place your slices on a baking dish and let them dry in the sun. I took her advice and it worked well- the slime was gone.
Once your okra is nice and dry, take a medium sized mixing bowl and add to it 1/4 cup of corn meal, and whatever seasoning spices you like. I added some dried dill and celery salt, but I think something spicier, like cayenne, would have been even better. Then dump in all your okra and give it a few tosses to coat your pieces in the breading mixture.
Next, get your skillet nice and hot and add enough oil to coat the bottom of your skillet – about 3 tbsp. of safflower oil or vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add your okra and fry until both sides are brown and crispy. This took around 8 minutes.
Who ate it?
Husband- Well, I finally did it. After three months and at least 30 recipes I’ve found something that he is not fond of and it’s okra.
Son #1- He tried it.
Son #2- Not on your life. Just a note, if you are like me and have a picky eater it may not be the best idea to yell out while preparing dinner, “OMG, this is the slimiest little vegetable I’ve ever seen!”
I think okra might be a food like cilantro or anchovies, that you either love or hate. It shall not be making a return appearance at our house.
On another note
The boys have no idea that their opinions on our vegetable dishes are being recorded and shared with you all. They don’t know what a blog is either, and so I thought I had completely shielded them from this aspect of our meals. But kids notice everything.
The other day, as I was walking past their room, I heard them talking. They were discussing what they had to do when they grew up – get a job, find an apartment and cook. This type of discussion is actually not unusual around here as Son #1 is a bit of a worrier. You wouldn’t believe how many times he wonders how he’s going to choose whom to marry. He’s only 5.
“How will I know what to cook? ” asked Son #1.
Then straight out of Son #2’s mouth came,
“Why does Mama take a picture of our food before we eat it?”
– Mom on a veggie mission.