Friday, August 14, 2015

Chef Daddy: Roasted Okra

Today I might lose some of you.

Okra has been one of my favorite crops to grow in the backyard garden, because it grows in extreme heat and because it's extremely tasty. I've never been a fan of pickled okra, but I love those crispy little morsels the South is known for. I understand many people's okra issues: the slime. If you've ever chopped it up fresh you'll know it's not a figment of anyone's imagination. It's gross. That could be why most people have resolved to batter it and fry it to a crisp.

Today I'm here with an alternative. Though I will always and forever love fried okra {bags of it line my freezer, waiting to meet the oil}, we have found another way. And dare I say it: a better way. This may not be news to you, but it was the first time we gave this method a whirl. The cooking was easier, the cleanup was easier, and the end result was delicious. That's why we have found a favorite in roasted okra.

Now, this isn't a "Chef Daddy" recipe post like you've seen in the past. There are no rows of ingredients to photograph or processes to print and save. Basically, you chop up the okra {or slice it, or leave it completely whole}. You spread it out evenly on a foil-covered baking sheet {or some of other form of heat-safe dish} and you stick it in a 425-degree oven. Leave it in about 20-25 minutes and take it out when it's nicely browned. Salt and pepper it {go crazy and add some other herbs or garlic salt if you want}, and then you eat it. It's not as crunchy as its breaded cousin, but the slime is gone and there's nothing left but flavor. Flavor that goes beyond cornmeal.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume most of you who are knee-deep in fresh okra already know this one, but for the few who don't, do me a favor and try it. You might be surprised!
Have a great weekend, y'all.

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