Okra Recipes | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TIP OF THE DAY: Okra’s In Season, What Should You Cook? – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.




TIP OF THE DAY: Okra’s In Season, What Should You Cook?

Most people think of gumbo is a soup or stew from Louisiana, typically made with chicken or shellfish, Andouille sausage, bell peppers, celery and onions, and thickened with okra pods.

But in the beginning, “gumbo” was simply the word for okra in the African Bantu language.

Okra came to America with the slave trade and was introduced to the Southern white population by their African cooks. Okra became the vegetable associated with the American South*.

Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family, Malvaceae, which also includes cacao, cotton, hibiscus, the kola nut (the base flavor of cola drinks) and the “king of Asian fruits,” the durian, known for its strong aroma and large, thorny husk.

The valuable part of the okra plant is its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with champions of Ethiopian, West Africa, even South Asia. Today, the vegetable is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world. [Source]
Okra is used in casseroles, soups, stews and sides; added, cooked, to salads and sandwiches (try an okra grilled cheese). They can be fried or stuffed (like poppers).

   
/home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/red and green okra starlingyardsFB 230

Okra pods were originally green, but mutations have led to the development of red and burgundy varieties. Look for them in your farmers market. Photo courtesy Starling Yards.

 
But perhaps our favorite way to enjoy okra is Rick’s Picks Smokra, the most amazing smoked okra pickles. We always buy the six-packs and love them as low-calorie snacks, as exciting garnishes for dinner guests and to give as gifts.
 
*Okra is also an important ingredient in cuisines in areas as far-flung as Africa, Asia and Latin America.
 
HOW SHOULD YOU COOK OKRA?

We consulted the experts on the best ways to use okra. Here are Southern Living’s recommendations of the 12 best okra recipes:

  • Baked Polenta With Cheese & Okra, a special brunch casserole
  • Fried Okra Salad
  • Fried Pecan Okra
  • Okra & Corn Maque Chou (a corn and okra salad)
  • Okra Creole
  • Okra Rellenos, fried okra filled with cheese
  • Peppery Grilled Okra with lemon-basil dipping sauce
  • Pickled Okra
  • Pickled Okra & Shrimp
  • Shrimp & Okra Hush Puppies, fried cornbread bites
  • Skillet-Roasted Okra and Shrimp
  • Smashed Fried Okra
  •  

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/okra fries ulelerestaurant 230
    Okra fries. Photo courtesy Ulele Restaurant |
    Tampa.

      But where’s the gumbo?

    We looked into THE NIBBLE archives and found:

  • Chicken Andouille Gumbo from Chef Emeril Lagasse
  • Easy Chicken & Sausage Gumbo from Chef David Venable
  • Easy Chicken & Sausage Gumbo using Swanson Louisana Cajun
    Flavor Infused Broth
  •  
    HOW TO ELIMINATE OKRA “SLIME”

    Some people avoid okra because of the “slimy” texture. That okra just hasn’t been cooked correctly. Here are slime-busting tips from Okra, a Savor the South cookbook by Virginia Willis.:

  • Choose small fresh okra pods. The smaller the okra, the less slime.
  • Cook okra at high heat: roasting at high temperatures, searing in a cast iron pan, deep fat frying or grilling are techniques that limit the slime.
  • Wash and dry the pods very thoroughly. Wet okra will steam, causing it to “slime.”
  • Cook okra in small batches. Overcrowding brings the heat down, which starts steaming and sliming the okra/
  • Add an acid when cooking okra. Citrus juice, tomato, vinegar and wine add flavor while limiting the slime.
  •  
    Up first for us: fried okra with ketchup!
      




    Comments are closed.



    © Copyright 2005-2020 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.