OKRA

OKRA. SOMETHING THAT I HAVE NEVER TRIED TO MAKE. FROZEN, CANNED OR FRESH.

Fried Okra

1 lb young Okra pods
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp Salt.
2 pints ice water
oil for frying
salt and pepper for seasoning, to taste
Top and tail the Okra pods, ie cut off the ends.
Cut the pods into approximately 1/4 inch rounds.
Place the sliced Okra into a glass or stainless steel bowl and sprinkle the salt liberally over the pods.

Cover the pods with the iced water, making sure that all the slices are under water.
Place the bowl containing the Okra and water in a refrigerator and leave for 2 or more hours.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and drain off the salt water.
Season the cornmeal with the salt and pepper

Place the sliced Okra together with the seasoned cornmeal in a large plastic bag and shake until the Okra is well coated with the cornmeal.

Heat some oil (1/2 inch deep) in a frying pan until it begins to shimmer. Place the Okra in the pan and fry until crisp and brown.

Remove the Okra from the oil, using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve hot as a side dish

Our Family’s Favorite Gumbo Recipe

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of flour
l large chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
5 or 6 cloves, chopped garlic
1 cup of chopped green pepper
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of tomatoes (“Rotel” tomatoes for a spicier taste!)
1 pound, fresh sliced okra (or 2 boxes of frozen sliced okra)
2 pounds of fresh shrimp
2 - 3 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 bay leaf

For seafood gumbo, add:
1 small can of crabmeat or 3 fresh gumbo crabs
1 jar oysters

Slowly stir the flour into heated oil in a heavy cast iron skillet. Continue to stir until the flour is dark brown. Add the next 4 ingredients; stir until onions are clear. Add tomato sauce. Stir until it gets crumbly or dry. Fry okra in another skillet until it is no longer sticky or stringy. Add tomatoes and fried okra. Cook slowly, adding 2 to 3 cups of water–a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in one teaspoon of sugar.
Cook for about an hour on a low fire, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of pot; adding water if necessary. Add the shrimp and the bay leaf (and seafood). Cook another 30 minutes to an hour, adding seasoning to taste. Serve over boiled or steamed rice.

Okra Stew

3 lbs. chopped okra
1 lb. shrimp (cleaned/peeled)
1 lb. ham
1 lb. smoked sausage
2-14.5 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups chicken stock or water

In a large sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.
Add okra, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Uncover and stir. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. Uncover bring fire to medium high heat and continue to turn okra with a spatula until all slime is burned off. Add ham, smoked sausage, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, dried oregano, thyme, basil, pepper flakes and 2 cups chicken stock (or water). Simmer for 20 minutes in uncovered pan.
Add shrimp and cook for 10 minutes until shrimp turn pink.

Serve over white rice.

Fried Okra

* 1 pound okra
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
* 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
* vegetable oil

Wash okra and drain well. Remove tip and stem end; cut okra into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle okra with salt; add buttermilk, stirring until well coated. Let stand at least 15 minutes; then drain okra well. Dredge in corn meal. Deep fry okra in hot oil at 375F until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
Serves 4 to 6.

Stewed Tomatoes With Okra

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 pound fresh okra, washed, trimmed, sliced
* 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
* salt, to taste

PREPARATION:
Place sliced okra in pan; cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Drain water; add remaining ingredients. Simmer mixture for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until okra is tender. Add salt, if desired, to taste.
Serves 4.

Fresh Okra Succotash

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 quart okra, washed and sliced
* 1 cup young fresh lima beans
* 1 cup fresh corn kernels
* 3 large tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

PREPARATION:
Peel and seed tomatoes; cut into small pieces and place in a large, non-reactive sauce pan, stock pot or Dutch oven. Add sliced okra, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add lima beans; simmer for another 15 minutes, then add the corn.

Cook 20 minutes longer; add butter and stir. Serve as a side dish.
Serves 4 to 6.

Microwave Okra Succotash

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 teaspoon mustard seed
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* dash cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 pound fresh okra, stemmed, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
* 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced tomatoes
* 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
* fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

PREPARATION:
In a large microwave-safe dish combine chopped onion, tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, mustard seed, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 5 minutes, or until steaming hot.

Add the okra, potatoes, and corn; stir to blend ingredients.

Cover dish; microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle the cilantro or parsley over the succotash before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

4 c. fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped 2 c. fresh or frozen okra sliced 1 c. chopped onion 2 Tbs. bacon grease salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over med. heat stirring occasionally till tender. This takes about 30 minutes.

You can also make squash and tomatoes by substituting 1 c. sliced squash and 1 c. sliced zucchini for the okra.

Creole Okra

(4 servings)

2 Tbsp butter or bacon drippings
1/4 cup minced onions
3 Tbsp minced green pepper
1-1/2 cups sliced okra
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
Pinch of basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat butter, add onions and green pepper and cook until soft but not brown.

Add okra and sauté over moderate heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat, add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes. Add small amount of water if necessary to prevent scorching and to give a moist consistency.

Fried Okra

(6 servings)

3 dozen okra pods
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp vegetable oil

Boil the okra pods until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Mix the eggs with the milk and salt. Dip the pods in the crumbs, then in the egg mixture, then again in the crumbs.

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the okra and sauté until brown, turning once.

Boiled Okra

Choose young, tender pods not more than 2-1/2 inches long. Wash the okra and cut off the stems without cutting into the pods. Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water until the okra is tender but not excessively soft, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Some southern cooks insist that a little acid (vinegar or lemon juice) added to the water in which the okra is boiled cuts its mucilaginous quality.

Boiled okra may be dressed with lemon juice and melted butter. Or it may be cooled, marinated in a vinaigrette and servied with mayonnaise. One pound will serve 3 to 4 people.

*The New York Times Cookbook

Okra with Corn

4 Tbsp butter
2 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup minced scallions, tops included
1-1/2 cups (about 4 plump ears) corn cut from the cob
1-1/2 cups sliced okra
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Heat butter in skillet, add peppers and scallions and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Serves 6.

Syrian-Style Okra with Dried Fruit

1/2 lb. okra, chopped
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. oil
1 tbsp. water
1 1/2 c. dried fruit (about 8 oz. prunes, apricots, raisins, etc.)
1/2 c. prune juice
1/2 c. tomato juice
1/4 lemon, minced (rind and fruit)

Stir-fry okra and onion with oil and water in a large frying pan for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add dried fruit, juices, and lemon. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring often. Serve warm or chilled

Pickled Okra

  Ingredients (5 servings)

  2 lb Fresh Tender Okra Pods 
  5 ea Hot Red/Green Peppers 
  5 ea Cloves Garlic, Peeled 
  1 qt Distilled Vinegar 
  1/2 c Water 
  6 tb Pickling Salt 
  1 tb Celery Seed 
  1 tb Mustard Seed 

  Instructions

  Wash Okra and pack into clean jars with screw tops. Into each jar put 1 red or green hot pepper and 1 clove garlic.
  Bring remaining ingredients to a boil and pour over the okra, filling the jars to overflowing. Seal while hot and let age for 2 months before using. Makes 5 pints

CURRIED OKRA WITH CHICKPEAS AND TOMATOES

1 1/4 lb small fresh okra, left untrimmed, or 2 (10-oz) packages frozen whole okra (not thawed)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 (14- to 15-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, tomatoes chopped, reserving juice
1 (19-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
2/3 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Accompaniment: cinnamon-spiced rice or basmati rice

If using fresh okra, trim, leaving tops intact, being careful not to cut into pods.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion and garlic with ginger and curry powder, stirring, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, chickpeas, and water and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in okra, salt, and pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until okra is tender, about 10 minutes.

Makes 4 main-course or 6 side-dish servings.

Smothered Okra

10 pounds of okra
Cooking Oil
2 large onions chopped
2 large bellpeppers chopped
2 large cans of tomatoes (or 4 fresh tomatoes peeled)
salt and red pepper to taste

-Wash okra and slice into 1/2 inch slices
-Pour oil to cover bottom of large heavy roasting pan; add okra, bellpepper and onion and blend. Cover tightly and cook in 300F oven for one hour.
-Add tomatoes and stir until well-blended; recover and continue to cook for at least two more hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
-When cooked add seasonings to taste and serve hot as a side dish, or freeze for later use in gumbo.