Fried Okra

I’ve been thinking about fried okra. I think this is because most people don’t like okra and think of it as a slimy vegetable. It can be slimy. Other people think of it as just a thickener for gumbo. I remember fried okra in my childhood. It was not a common dish but very distinct. I remember my mother cooking it in that big heavy skillet of hers. So when the hospital’s greenhouse listed okra among its greenhouse farmer’s market offerings my eyes lit up!  Yay! Here’s my chance to make fried okra. ‘Tis the season as I have been seeing fried okra recipes around the internet lately.

The opening day of the farmer’s market did not have the okra. As it turns out the okra came out after I had gone on to a meeting. So I asked the greenhouse coordinator to save me a batch next time. In the pouring rain I get myself over to the greenhouse getting drenched in the process. I find one customer in front of me with bags of okra. Oh no! And just as I spy out that situation, the greenhouse coordinator says “I need to save one of these bags…for Nancy” and he hands it directly to me. Did he not remember until he saw me? We’ll never know for sure. But what we do know is that I have a batch of fresh picked okra and I’ve put fried okra on the menu for dinner.

fried okra 002

What was to be for dinner that night was a question? I have too many ideas and meals that I want to make. I have fresh eggplant from the same farmer’s market. I had cooked up two of the fingerlings in a grilled ratatouille last week. Peeling them and slicing and then tossing them in the grill pan with a chopped onion, summer squash, baby bella mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. I found a recipe for crispy eggplant with a tomato and feta sauce. The picture looks good and I have all the ingredients. But that would be a meatless meal and the hubby likes meat for dinner. What to do? The okra solves the problem. Grilled sausages for the main course and fried okra for the veggie. I will also serve the ever present cucumber salad pickling itself in the fridge.

Hubby has not had fried okra before. He has most likely only had okra hidden in gumbo once in a while. I assure him it will be a wonderful treat. (I’m crossing my fingers that he will like it!)

fried okra 003

First I gather the ingredients and equipment. I have to run out to the camper trailer to borrow some additional cooking oil. I’ve got to make a grocery list. I have “shopped” my trailer for mouthwash, paper towels, aluminum foil, and dish sponge already this week!

Gather all ingredients, slice okra, dip in egg beaten with milk, dredge in cornmeal  (I added a handful of flour as well; not sure it’s really needed), fry in hot oil in batchesfried okra 004.

fried okra 006

Here’s hubby tasting his first bite of fried okra. After which he made a dipping sauce of sour cream, mustard, and hot sauce. Not a bad idea.

fried okra 007       fried okra 008

Truth be told: I’ve never made this dish before! But I went about it with the absolute confidence that it would turn out like I remembered. And it did!

Go forth and cook!

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