Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cornmeal-Crusted Okra


There doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground when it comes to okra - people either love it or hate it.  I happen to love it - fried, grilled, toasted, in soups and stews, mixed into fritters, in a salad, pickled... any way, any time, I love it.  So when it's in season and abundant during the summer, I buy a basket from the farmer's market every weekend.  Usually it ends up being thrown on the grill or dry-roasted.  While fried okra is one of my favorite things ever, it is a bit labor-intensive, not to mention messy and yes, very unhealthy.

This cornmeal-crusted okra is a great alternative to fried okra.  It is somewhat healthier, makes little-to-no mess, is very low-maintenance, and comes together quite quickly.  It's still crispy like fried okra, yet the okra really shines here since it's not battered and deep-fried.  Joey loved it, and suggested that I start making it like this for snacks.  Smith couldn't get enough either!


I did something kind of crazy and unconventional with this okra, so check back tomorrow - it was definitely a successful experiment!  So okra:  love it or hate it?  

Cornmeal-Crusted Okra
barely adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'all, by Virginia Willis

  • 6 Tbs canola or peanut oil 
  • 2 lbs okra, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces, stems and tips discarded
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
In a large skillet (preferably nonstick), heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the okra, stir to coat, and cover.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the okra is bright green, 10-12 minutes.  

Season generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the cornmeal over the okra.  Stir to coat, and drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over the top.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the okra is tender, browned, and crispy, 5-10 minutes.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve immediately.


11 comments:

Yumgoggle said...

People call me weird when I enjoy okra...
I don't know why but I love it steamed, sprinkled with soy sauce and a hint of lemon. The recipe was shared to me by a friend from the MidEast. She was from India and I instantly loved okra. I tried some other okra recipes and I love most of them. Now, this is another recipe for me to try. Looks good!

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branny said...

I am thinking of going to the store to get okra and having this and ONLY this for dinner tonight.

Rachel said...

I've never made or had okra but we have some in the fridge from our CSA and I had no idea what to do with it!! I'm definitely going to give this one a try!

atthepatisserie said...

the most southern thing i can think of!! :) little Smith is so adorable!

Jessamyn said...

Looks delicious! Definitely making it!

Joanne said...

I am firmly and securely in the LOVE IT camp! And I love cornmeal-crusted anything also. WIN.

www.pass4ged.com/Minnesota-ged-practice-test.htm said...

Love the photo, dear :)

www.pass4ged.com/Kentucky-ged-practice-test.htm said...

Love this! So much so, I pinned it to my Pinterest! :)

www.pass4ged.com/Pennsylvania-ged-practice-test.htm said...

I don't drink lemonade nearly enough but it really is so tasty! I especially love the blackberry infusion...tart on tart is totally my kind of thing.

www.pass4ged.com/Indiana-ged-practice-test.htm said...

Blackberry and lemon: so good! I've been devouring blackberry lemonade popsicles since spring. This looks so good.

parachuteball said...

Oh my gosh - I stumbled across this when looking for a gf/cornmeal fried okra and I just wanted to weigh in on the okra question. I think okra is devine. It's buttery and delicious...having grown up in the south, fried okra was a mainstay. We also had it pickled, grilled, and stewed with tomatos and zucchini quite often - still one of my favorite dishes. My fiance, a northern boy, originally, thought he hated it because he'd cooked a bag of frozen okra once and was disgusted by the slime. I've since changed his opinion. I think more people would like it if someone prepared it correctly for them. It's one of my favorite umami flavors! Thanks for this recipe and for the lovely photos.

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