Chefs want their own garden. This is a fact!
There is a rewarding feeling to knowing that you planted a seed; nurtured a seedling; watered the plant; shaded it from too much sun; watched the flower bloom; and saw the vegetable or fruit or herb grow. Then, at its peak, you harvest your bounty, cook it, and devour it.
With all the reasons to own a home, one of the biggest factors that lured me away from apartment dwelling was when SFW said to me: “You can plant a bigger garden.” Aww, my soft spot, I was hooked! Let’s start house hunting!
So this summer morning, I walked into my garden to find that my lovely clemson okra was ready for the harvest. My heart sank and I let out a small breath excitement just before I willed my sharp knife, cut the succulent vegetable from the plant, and placed in my basket.
An with the enitre day to myself, I had already begun thinking that this bounty of okra was going to my guilty pleasure lunch today.
My Recipe: FRIED OKRA w CHILI AND LIME
2 # fresh whole okra
½ c fine corn meal
½ c all-purpose flour
1 T kosher salt
1 t fresh cracked black pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
½ t ground cayenne pepper
¼ t ground cumin, optional
hot sauce or chili paste (like Sambal Oelek), for dipping, optional
vegetable oil, for frying
Wash the okra BEFORE cutting it, this will control the slimy “goo” that cut okra is prone to
After washing the okra, pat dry with a kitchen towel, and cut into 1” pieces; set aside
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the corn meal, flour, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, ground cayenne pepper, and cumin, if using
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottom frying pan over medium-high heat
While vegetable oil is heating, cut lime in half and squeeze juice of one half over the cut okra; lightly toss to coat the okra, not too much – remember slimy “goo” control
Working in batches DO NOT CROWD THE PAN, toss some of the lime-marinated okra into the cornmeal breading mixture; shake off excess breading; and fry okra in hot vegetable oil until golden brown; drain golden fried okra on waiting paper towel; sprinkle with additional kosher salt if desired
Dredge, shake off excess, fry, drain, season, and repeat until all of the okra is cooked
While okra is still hot and crispy, squeeze additional lime juice on top and serve with your favorite hot sauce and a nice cool beverage
Just in case you are wondering…. Yes, I proudly devoured the entire batch for lunch! It cannot be that bad for me – okra is a vegetable, high in fiber and vitamins B9 and C; contains a nice amount of magnesium, calcium, and protein; and it has no fat – it’s nutritious and delicious!
always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!