I was one of those weird kids who always liked okra. Something about the snappy skin and pop of the seeds made me forget the slime and embrace the long, pointy vegetables. I did, of course, almost always eat okra breaded and deep fried, so maybe I just liked the salty, greasy crunch.
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The succotash I grew up eating was a simple side dish of lima beans, corn, onion, black pepper, and a big hunk of butter. But despite my familiarity with the basic version, I am open to different interpretations of the dish (as long as it still contains butter, corn, and limas, of course). This creole succotash from the Treme cookbook is kind of like a tricked out version of the classic. In addition to the requisite vegetables, you'll find okra, celery, bell pepper, shrimp, and two kinds of pork.
The flame-throwing heat of this South Indian curry will have you screaming for more.
Okra, sometimes called lady's fingers, are hated by many because of their slimy texture. But this recipe, does away with that and brings out the mellow flavor of the vegetable and the subtle heat of the spices.
Some may be tempted to skip the somewhat tedious step of making a dark roux; I advise against this. The time and energy spent lovingly stirring the flour/oil mixture is essential to gumbo, and in my mind is part of the magic that can turn a rough morning around.
There are as many versions of jambalaya as there are cooks. In my house, the essential ingredients are green peppers, celery, onion, okra, rice, tomato and some sort of pork; but feel free to experiment and create your own list of essentials. If fresh okra is not in season use frozen cut okra, but be sure to use a brand you trust—some frozen okra can be distastefully fibrous. As always, homemade stock is best, but a grocery store version always works in a pinch. Coleslaw is a great side with this dinner, as is cold beer.
I already knew I loved maque choux, the Cajun combination of corn and okra. I figured it would be an easy fit for shrimp. This recipe from Saveur hits all the right notes. The jalapeño adds a bit of spice, the corn a little sweetness, and the bacon, well...it does what it does. But what I love best is how the okra helps bind each bite together.
What to do with fresh okra? Sauté it with fresh tomatoes, naturally. Make this quick side to accompany any grilled food in early autumn. Note: If ripe fresh tomatoes aren't in season, substitute with high quality whole canned tomatoes....
I've always thought of okra as one of the cuter vegetables, with its fuzzy little ridged pods and almost cap-like stem. But as adorable as okra is, some folks find it off-putting due to its tendency to become slimy when cooked. This recipe for Fried Okra from Mary Mac's Tea Room by John Ferrell is a wonderful way to convert the okra-averse since the quick-fry leaves the okra soft with an amazingly crisp crust. It's even more addictive than a plate of fries.
It's always exciting when someone presents you with a new way to prepare a dish that had never crossed your mind before. This was the case while I was interviewing Chattanooga resident and chef Kent Whitaker for an upcoming article in on tailgating. He mentioned his favorite way to eat jalapenos—battered and fried a la okra and dipped in a creamy horseradish sauce.
My New Orleans by John Besh includes no fewer than five recipes for gumbo, which isn't really all that shocking considering gumbo is the epitome of Louisiana cooking. This Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo starts with a roux made up of equal parts fat and flour that gets slowly cooked until the mix changes from a light tan to a deep, rich brown.
"Okra needs to be treated with a little love." [Flickr: .j.e.n.n.y.] I wasn't quite sure what to think when my wife returned from the farmers' market with a massive bag full of okra. It's not that I don't like okra—I...
This week's Cartoon Kitchen features Serious Eats' cartoonist in residence Larry Gonick's spin on okra. —Ed Levine...
Most of the okra I put down is pickled, which means A) I don’t have it that often and B) I haven’t the slightest idea what to do with it raw. I know about its powerful thickening properties and that...
A note to okra haters: Even you will love fried okra. You won't find any of the slime often associated with the summertime vegetable, just fried mouth-poppin' goodness. I can't pass it up when I see it on a menu,...