I love okra. I really like just plain boiled okra. You know, the slimy kind. I grew okra last summer and again this summer. Last summer, I had about 8 plants; this year, only two. One of these is extremely productive.
The trouble with okra after these start producing is that you have to eat or freeze what the plants produce. I still haven't got the knack.
You can't eat them raw like cherry tomatoes. They're too fuzzy. Actually mine are downright prickly before they're cooked.
I had a old slew saved up in the fridge and today decided to make fried okra to please my husband, Jimmy. I started by washing them and chopping off the ends; then I sliced them.
Then I dumped the sliced okra into a mixture of egg and milk.
Then I used a slotted spoon add them to a cornmeal mixture in a Tupperware container designed for marinating meat. It has a top that seals really well so you can turn it over during marination.
I shake it so the cornmeal get all over the okra.
To the cornmeal mixture, I had added way too much Spike, some onion salt and garlic powder.
I also added some of my home-grown lemon-scented oregano and too much plain salt. My daughter used to fuss at me because I didn't cook with enough seasonings so now that she's out on her own, I've started adding anything and everything to spice things up.
I fried the okra in a Dutch oven like cast iron skillet in a combination of butter, olive oil and safflower oil. I did not deep fat fry the okra. I don't know how to do that and besides I would be terrified of the amount of hot grease needed to deep fry anything.
Despite my dipping the okra in an egg and milk mixture before "dredging" them, most of the corn meal mixture fell off the okra immediately. To make matters worse the loose cornmeal and that stuck to the okra got slightly burned.
On his way to the kitchen to get his share of the okra and salmon patties I cooked to go with it, my husband said, "I've about decided the best thing to do is eat TV dinners. You don't have all the mess..."
"And they usually taste better," I added as he returned to the living room.
"Yeah," he said after he sat down again, "It doesn't make any sense to make all that mess for something that tastes like squat."
He's right. That fried okra was worse than squat. It was too salty and too grainy. The taste of okra was lost along with the slime.
That's the last time I fry okra.