Friday, August 28, 2009

Oven Fried Okra

I spent the first 6+ years of life down in Memphis, Tennessee. I had a southern drawl, called all of the carbonated soft drinks 'coke,' and loved one of the traditional southern vegetables - okra. Living in Michigan ever since, I've lost the southern drawl, have learned to call soft drinks 'pop' (though the generic 'coke' reference does surface from time to time by accident), but luckily have never lost my love of okra. I love it and definitely don't cook with it enough up here in the north. I wish it had grown better in my garden this year - I was really looking forward to a good okra crop. But I planted it late (forgot about it) and that coupled with the cool summer we've had, it just hasn't had a chance. From the farmers I talk to at the farmers' markets, they're having very low yields, even planting it on time. Maybe next year I'll get it right and have a nice okra crop of my own. For now, I'm relying on the farmers' markets. Even though I love okra, Kevin could take it or leave it, really. He really likes it fried, but I really hate frying things - both for health and I hate getting burned with drops of oil flying about. So I usually oven-fry my okra - always in seasoned cornmeal and usually with some egg to help adhere the coating to the veggie. But I came across this method on RecipeZaar recently and thought it'd be worth a try. All it does it eliminate the egg step. It actually worked out ok and it tasted great! I'll probably use this as my default method from now on.

I'll update later with a picture.

Oven Fried Okra

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
(I add garlic powder, too)
4 cups fresh okra
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine corn meal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Wash okra; drain. Trim ends and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Dredge in corn meal mixture to coat well. Okra should be moist in order for corn meal to adhere. If necessary, rinse okra again in water before dredging. Spread okra in a single layer in prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.

1 comment:

Justin and Mary said...

I've still never had fresh okra. I don't even know where to get it. The frozen stuff didn't do it for us. I have a half bag sitting in the freezer. Maybe I'll try to add it to a stir fry sometime to use up.