Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Garden Goodness

I am so fortunate to have good neighbors and friends.  One of my next door neighbors has a garden this year.  I was over visiting and was offered the opportunity to help myself to the overrun of okra. (Okay, fine! I know some of you just gagged! But it is healthy and to some of us it is yummy.)
So after work, I just went out the back gate and into the garden.  Gary was already in the okra cutting and trimming the plants.  I had a plastic bag and (more importantly) a pair of vinyl gloves.  Those keep the prickly hairs on it from causing you to sting and itch. Once I had picked all I thought I could eat -and talking to Gary for a while- I headed to my kitchen. First off it needs to be washed well. This removes the pricklies and any bugs that may have ridden in on the okra.

I got a number of little pods that are just perfect for (don't gag now) boiling.  I will tell you the secret to good boiled okra. Once the water starts boiling with the okra in it, you add about a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. Like magic it reduces the "slime" that most people find offensive.  Once it is boiled to a nice tender stage, drain it in a colander and toss it back into the hot pan along with some REAL BUTTER.  (shhhh..don't tell my doctor, but I use real butter for cooking-  in moderation of course.)  I set it back on the stove (which is hot but turned off) and let the butter melt and coat it. Then I add a light sprinkle of salt.
That is some tasty eating in my book.  Uh....I had already eaten about half of it right out of the pan! 

 I also had some larger, but still tender, pods. So I cut those up and dredged them in cornmeal. Then I fried them in a combination of olive oil and canola oil. The olive oil can burn at high temps so the canola tempers it. 

This is the first batch, in the pan.  I had another batch also. I put the fried okra away for lunch tomorrow and probably a bit more tomorrow night. (I ate all of the boiled okra with a chunk of cornbread!)

That is some real Southern Cooking!  I took a "how Southern are you" test today.  My results said I am 100% Southern and probably kin to General Lee.  LOL

17 comments:

Petit Design Co. said...

I wonder if that apple cider vinegar trick would help with nopales and chayote. Does it make the Okra taste vinegary once it's boiled?

you're def. 100% southern

Karen H said...

I'm a northerner, and have never really had Okra by itself. Isn't it a natural thickener?

SewCalGal said...

Yumm. I do so love Okra. But very difficult to find in So. Cal.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Pat said...

Yes...I would say you ARE 100% southern!!! LOL Now.....it's bad enough about the real butter but then you used salt and THEN you fried some of the okra. I AM telling your doctor.....about ALL of that!!! :)

Joy said...

I just came over to read your blog for the first time (came over from Petit Design Co) (shameless plug for my buddy)and what do I find...Okra? are you kidding me, I was one of those that gagged (still gagging) my husband loves the stuff but I am not a fan. So if he wants okra I tell him to go see his mother. That's what he gets for marrying a girl born in the south but raised out west.

Quilting Lab said...

Gene....he cooks, too! Well that sure was a southern suppa! (Said with a southern accent)!LOL
I like okra in a gumbo I make but have not tried it fresh or cooked as you did. Perhaps sometime...has to be better than the scrapple eaten here in southern DE. Yuk
Sherry

Frummie said...

Hi Gene,
My daughter and family just moved to Birmingham, well really Mountain Brook...are we close. I would love to taste your Okra.
Hugs,
Frummie

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

I love, love fried okra, you and my dad can eat the boiled okra. He also cans it hot and pickles some.

Barb said...

I am sorry Gene, but I did gag, I grew up on boiled okra and tomatoes (well....I wouldn't eat it but sometimes that is all there was)... My husband loves it fried.

luv2quilt2 said...

It's one of those vegetables I always pass by, not because it makes me gag, but I just don't like the taste of it.

Tangos Treasures said...

Oh yummy!! Looks fabulous!

ooglebloops said...

Looks good!1 My daughter has introcduced me to the joys of southern cooking!! I do like okra - I will pass on the cider vinegar tip to her!! Oh, can I interest you in some tomatoes or beans??? We have way to many!!!LOLI'll pass them over the cyber fence to you!!!

Lindi said...

I've never tried okra. Never even seen it sold over here. Maybe they have it at the markets in the Capitals. Anyway, you mentioned olive oil burning. I have switched to Rice Bran Oil for frying. It doesn't burn at the temps the other oils burn at.

Pat said...

Looks delicious to me.
Happy Quilting!

Leeann said...

Gene what is okra? We don't have it here on the other side of the world. Is it like a pepper? And what does it taste like? Glad you enjoyed it.

Chartreuse Moose said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'd always thought I had an "equal opportunity stomach"...but okra had been my last hold-out! ;-) Now with the vinegar tip...and gloves suggestion...I'm sure I'll have a new favorite!

limpingalong said...

Oh, I do love okra! I buy the frozen whole okra and cook it in the microwave. No slime! We love fried okra, also, but have given it up in the interest of health.
Here I am putting up Hatch green chilies -- bought another 10 pounds this morning and put them in the freezer. I think I have about 30 pounds roasted and frozen and will enjoy them all winter!