The good, green earth has given a bounty to gardeners who planted okra this year. My father has been “keeping the kids in okra” for weeks now, and, as always, I am glad to get anything fresh from the garden.
But, let’s face it, most of us take a little of the healthy shine off Mother Nature’s bounty when we dredge it in cornmeal and fry it. Yum!
My sister Gail has a friend who works in the Emergency Room at Blount Memorial Hospital who has a good recipe for baked okra. Rob and Sherry Kaniper were willing to share this recipe with In the Kitchen readers, and we really enjoyed it.
I am also including the “traditional” recipe for fried okra, but do try Rob and Sherry’s recipe. I think you will like it.
If you have an abundance of okra, here is a hint from Gail on a way to prepare ready-to-fry okra for the winter. After you have dipped the okra in buttermilk and coated it with the meal/flour mixture, place the unfried okra in a single lay on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour. Remove, place in airtight freezer bags. This winter, heat the oil and cook the okra in oil until it is a golden brown.
Rob and Sherry Kaniper’s Baked Okra
15 to 20 small to medium whole okra pods
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Wash and pat dry okra. Do not cut off the ends. Combine all ingredients in gallon size plastic bag or a large bowl. Toss to coat all the okra pods.
Place okra single layer on a cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 400-degree oven. This recipe also works great in the smaller toaster ovens.
2 lbs. fresh okra, washed and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
Oil for frying
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to about 350 degrees. The amount of oil depends on the size of your skillet. Use only enough oil to fill the skillet half way.
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in the cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well.
Add okra to hot oil in batches, and cook until golden brown.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.