Wednesday, May 04, 2011
You may have noticed that last night we had fried okra as part of our dinner. This is a dish I grew up with and love. (My paternal grandmother was from Louisiana and so my father grew up with it and my mother continued to fix it for him after they were married.) J. calls it an acquired taste, but has also grown to appreciate it... especially since I continue to put it on the menu. (You know, one of the perks of being the one who makes the weekly menus is that I choose the things I like. This can be disappointing for some members of my family because the likelihood of having anything with mushrooms is very slim. The rejoicing is great when I do buy a box of them.) Our children have mixed opinions on okra. M. loves it and will eat it in any form, even raw. Most of the rest enjoy it the way I prepare it. And A. will make a valiant attempt to get herself invited to someone else's house for dinner when she sees it on the menu. (M. and A. are flipped in their like/dislike of creamed spinach, so it evens out.)
There is great curiosity as to where G. and L. will fall on the spectrum of okra enjoyment. (It's not a genetic-thing, either. TM loves it and K. sort-of tolerates it.) In an effort to lure them over to her side, M. was encouraging G. and L. to eat little bites of the raw okra she was chopping. A. then comes in and sits down with the little girls to read them a story, when she suddenly shouts, "Ugh! They smell like okra. What have you been giving them?" We were amused.
But it really is very good and you should try it if you never have. While I call it fried okra because I grew up calling it fried okra, it's more accurately sauteed okra. Here's how I fix it:
Wash and trim ends off of desired amount of okra. (I fix ~3lbs and never have leftovers, but that's probably just us.) Chop into small circles and mix with cornmeal (to coat) and a little salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add okra. Saute, stirring constantly, until the okra turns bright green and starts to brown a bit. Serve immediately.
That's it... very easy and very yummy.