My Chef's Hat - Fried Okra

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be doing a blog post on making okra.  I know I've talked about my distaste in other posts, but in a nutshell, I refused to eat it as a kid because my parents always steamed it.  Resulting in disgusting and slimy.  I finally started periodically eating it once I moved to Oklahoma, because of course here it's fried.  But I always needed ranch and/or ketchup to help the taste.

Since I've gotten more adventurous with food lately, I had decided to do the same with okra. Especially after the owner of the Classic Cafe talked about shrimp & okra fritters.  And Joni said she makes her own fried okra.  Sunday morning before I left Dallas I went to Central Market to pick up a couple things.  Yes, I know it's odd that I go to a grocery store in Dallas. But it's awesome, and reminds me of Wegman's in Maryland.  They have absolutely everything you could want and more.  The prices are really good and they have a great bulk food section.  They also have a lot of specialty items, so I can easily spend an hour or more, just walking up and down the aisles.  I saw fresh okra and briefly considered buying some, but held off.  When I got back to Stillwater I was at Wal Mart, and walked down one of the frozen food aisles on the way to pick up eggs.  And it just happened to be the frozen veggies section.  And I saw a small bag of cut, frozen okra.  So I bought it, and immediately texted Joni to find out how she makes it.

A couple days later I was making salmon, and decided to make some fried okra.  I remembered Joni's directions, but also went onto Pinterest to find a recipe.  And found one for Perfect Fried Okra.

Here is the official recipe version

And here's my version

These were delicious!  I was really quite impressed with myself.  As you can tell a couple of them were burned on one side, but that's just first-time error.  I didn't want to deep fry them so I just put enough oil to pan fry.  I had the oil hot enough for the first batch, but didn't let it reheat enough before putting in the second batch so those took longer, and therefore burned a little.  The recipe calls for the cornmeal and flour to be mixed together. I really liked that you soaked them in buttermilk first.  Adds some good flavor and moisture, without an egg.  The recipe calls for equal portions of flour and cornmeal mixed together. But I ended up putting in more cornmeal. The recipe only calls for salt, flour and garlic powder, but I really think it could use some stronger seasoning.  Maybe cayenne or paprika. Something to add a little heat.  And definitely some onion powder.  

I will definitely be making these again.  And once the frozen is done, I'll try my hand with the fresh.  And maybe even try some other okra recipes, but they have to be fried or at a minimum roasted.  Not nearly brave enough to try anything else at this point.

Recipe found on Instructables