Because a friend asked . . here are the ways I love okra except . . I love okra any way it’s served. I will fish it out of a bowl of soup, eat mine and eye anyone else’s bowl who looks like they may be avoiding the okra. I don’t even care if it’s slimy so I may not be the best one to ask about okra, but here are some ways I like to make it.
Unless otherwise noted, wash it, remove the stem end and slice it somewhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick. Always toss any pods that are hard.
Vince isn’t as crazy about okra as I am and this isn’t his favorite way. It really ends up being a big, kinda mushy pile with no real visible pieces of okra remaining after it’s done. I will use bacon grease or corn oil or olive oil. Saute chopped onions and garlic and remove from the pan. Add the sliced garlic and stir . . and stir and stir. You don’t really want it to get brown. Add a bit of water and simmer it and continue doing this til the slime is gone. If you’ve ever cooked okra, you know what I mean. Cook til all the water is cooked out. Return the onions and garlic and season – Cajun Redhead, salt, red pepper.
Okra for Gumbo:
You may or may not know but the first frost, even a light frost, and the okra plants are gone. Mostly we eat gumbo during the colder months and okra isn’t in season then so when it’s plentiful, I will saute (as discussed above) a big pot of okra, then drop it by about 1/2 cup portions onto cookie sheets. Stick those in the freezer to flash freeze. Once they’re frozen, I’ll drop them into small zipper bags, then put all those into a gallon size freezer bag. When I need okra for gumbo, grab one, drop it still frozen into simmering gumbo. If it’s a large pot of gumbo, drop two in.
Cut it into maybe at least 1/2″ pieces. Whip up an egg or two. Dump the okra into the egg. In a paper lunch sack, add enough cornmeal (depending on how much okra you have), a bit of flour, probably about 1 tablespoon flour per cup of cornmeal, cajun seasoning, salt if desired (depends on which cajun seasoning you’re using).
Have a skillet of oil hot (I use corn oil for this).
Remove the okra from the egg in small portions, drop into the cornmeal mixture, shake the bag to coat, remove from the bag, shake off the excess cornmeal mix, drop into the hot oil and fry til the coating is lightly browned.
Faux Fried Okra:
Add oil to a skillet. Again, I like corn oil for this. Cut the okra into about 1/2″ pieces. Cook til tender but you want the pieces to stay fairly intact. Do not add water, just stir and add more oil if needed. When the okra is tender, add about 2 T. oil and sprinkle cornmeal over the okra. Stir til the cornmeal begins to lightly brown. Season and serve.
Okra & Tomatoes:
Slice the okra as mentioned above. Add oil to a skillet. Saute the okra but do not break it down too much. Add onions, garlic and chopped bell pepper. Add either chopped fresh tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes. Keep the heat low and stir til the liquid has cooked out.
Okra, Tomatoes & Meatballs:
This is probably one of my favorite meals. In fact, I think I’ll fix it this weekend! Instead of typing out a recipe, this one is almost exactly the way I cook mine. So good!
That’s all I can think of for now but if I think of more, I’ll come back and update this list.