Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dwelling on the past...Fried Okra

As I have said before, I have discovered (through pain) that gall bladders should be taken better care of especially during pregnancy.  Gratefully, diet has been a primary relief.  At least once in our marriage, Pete requested that we have a vegetable that is *not* fried.  With the new gallbladder friendly diet, this is no longer an issue between us.

I grew up in South Carolina.  The best tasting things are those with a little breading and fried up crisp.  In honor of my roots and fondly remembering when I could enjoy fried foods with abandon, I submit to you what I call "REAL" Fried Okra.

Aside: If you are a true southerner, you pronounce the last word as /oak - ree/.  I have somewhat lessened my intensity of the pronunciation after nearly ten years of teasing by my more grammatically-correct Canadian husband.

If you have only had okra from Cracker Barrel (or equivalent), you have not truly experienced okra in all it's deliciousness. Notice that you can actually see the vegetable. This is a food that is not "battered and deep fried,"  it rather has a light flour coating and is pan fried (or baked in the oven). 

Real Fried Okra
  1. Gather a mess of fresh okra (picked small, fresh as possible)
  2. Wash well (your fingers may itch just a little if you grab one too tight near the top)
  3. With a nice sharp knife, cut into disks (maybe 1/3 inch or so) into a clean bowl (that has a tight-fitting lid)
  4. After you have a nice bowl full of (yes, somewhat slimy-feeling) sliced okra, you add the "breading"
  5. Scoop a small amount (1/2 cup or so) of flour (whole wheat of course)
  6. Shake some salt and pepper (to your taste, but more salt than pepper and use sea salt of course)
  7. Cover the bowl and shake it well so that all the sticky okra gets a light coating of the flour.
  8. Dump the bowl of okra into a hot frying pan (cast iron is a great choice) with some coconut oil in the bottom (not a ton, but enough to cover the bottom well).You can also "bake/fry" this in the oven.  Use a jellyroll pan and lightly coat the bottom with coconut oil.  You'd cook it about 375 for half an hour but stir it a couple of times for even cooking.
  9. Stir or continue to scrap with a spatula.  If it begins to stick, add a little more coconut oil.  You may do this several times while it cooks.
  10. Cook the okra until it is tender, crispy on the outside and literally melts in your mouth.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    That looks delicious - makes me want to go eat some! I hope you can put some flexibility back in your diet soon so that you can enjoy such a treat again :)