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Okra


Mayhaw Man
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Me? I'm stuck at home pickling okra in a very quiet house. You wanna know what bliss is? This is it.

This is my house tonightl, damn, hubby came in from hackberry....

But if anyone wants the consumate recipe for okra. pm.

edit to add, I have 2 recipes.

Edited by highchef (log)
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1.  Why is okra even an issue in this day and age on

this forum?   :smile:

With a good recipe and a good cook it's

sublime and with a bad recipe and lousy cook it's vile.

So, just get a good recipe and learn to cook,

which is what this group  is all about, no?

Do I sense an Okra Cook-off thread coming?

so, what about it?

will there be an okra cook off any time soon?

milagai

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Though I am pretty much a city kid and a Yankee now, my mother grew up in Alabama and I spent a week or two every summer in Huntsville growing up. Grandpa and my dad used to take me out to Aunt Lorraine's (pronounced LO-RAIN) farm to shoot. On day Aunt Lorraine tried to get me to eat some pickle okra and I kept trying to avoid it and she kept trying to fore that Mason jar of gunk on me until finally grandpa said "the boy don't want none of your dang okree!" She gave up and I always became even more affectionate towards grandpa for saving me.

The upshot, of course, is that may years later I finally tried okra (which will always be pronounced "okree" in my mind)...and I still thought it was some nasty-ass stuff. Yuck. :laugh:

Oh well, to each his own. I may still come around.

As an aside: you'd never know it from any Greek restaurant you've ever been to, but Greeks love okra, and if you ever find yourself in a market at Athens you may be able to pick up everything youneed for a decent jambalaya.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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What I had for breakfast:

gallery_11280_1530_514794.jpg

Okay, so they weren't really supposed to be for breakfast, they were supposed to be for lunch later today (along with zipper pea salad and squash casserole) but they didn't make it that far. Oh well. Guess I'll have to slice some cucumbers and tomatoes instead.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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What I had for breakfast:

gallery_11280_1530_514794.jpg

Okay, so they weren't really supposed to be for breakfast, they were supposed to be for lunch later today (along with zipper pea salad and squash casserole) but they didn't make it that far. Oh well. Guess I'll have to slice some cucumbers and tomatoes instead.

what did you marinade them in?

milagai

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so is anyone counting? do the "yes" people win yet :cool:

i just got a new okra/tofu recipe ...but i cant post it here :sad:

i will report back with details and blurry pics soon :laugh:

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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what did you marinade them in?

No marinating necessary. Thread them on the skewers (thread three or four on one skewer and then go back and push the other skewer through---having them on two skewers means they can't spin around and will lay flat on the grill). Brush or spray with fat of your choice, salt, and grill. They're done when you think they're done---probably five minutes each side on a pretty hot grill, but your mileage may vary.

Some of the, um, "goo" will leak out of the skewer holes (make sure when you trim the stems that you don't open the pods; you can see some of the leakage as the white froth in my pic) but this prep is generally non-sticky.

Okra are in season here in Georgia, so I'm getting lots in my CSA. The other half of my breakfast was fresh figs, also from my CSA.

[edit to fix a preposition]

Edited by therese (log)

Can you pee in the ocean?

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The upshot, of course, is that may years later I finally tried okra (which will always be pronounced "okree" in my mind)....

My great liking for okra (also okree to the older generation in my neck of the woods) was cause for an irate reaction, a considerable grudge against two of my Mother's friends, and the very first lightbulb moment in my love affair with words when I was about six. I made up little poems and stories and scenes, carefully crafting the rhyme and meter and plots, and had been reading avidly since I was four.

That great gift of reading had come to me courtesy of a lovely woman across the "road" (our smalltown synonym for "street" in my childhood). She was Mother to four husky, rowdy boys, all yells and fists and elbows, and I think she valued our quiet days of books and words as much as I, in the quiet of her smoky, cluttered living room with all the books stacked round the walls and the dust motes falling like snowflakes in the sunbeams invading the cracks between the heavy, musty drapes.

She had introduced me to places and people unknown, and I will bless and value her all my days. I had developed quite a vocabulary, and though I knew not the meaning of syntax and was just grasping the definition of grammar, I had quite a firm standard for my own sentences. Pronunciation, however, was another matter. Just the reading of a word, without having heard it in its proper inflection, can make for some strange syllables.

The two women were standing beside a flowerbed in one's yard, and I was playing on the lawn with the daughter of the house. We were well-raised children, taught not to interrupt our elders, but when one mentioned okra, I burst in with my own enthusiastic endorsement, "I LOVE okree!!" They burst out laughing, and I rose, highly insulted, and did my chubby little best to stalk off in righteous indignation. Before I could reach the road, one said, "We were just mentioning it's not correct to say you "love" any food."

That stoked my burners even more, and I fumed my way home, in a grievous grump which lasted probably til suppertime. And though I played with my friend forever after, I never did look at her mother as the nice person she surely was.

That they did not correct my pronunciation as well most likely was the reason that I did get over that slur on my grammatical possibilities.

And I STILL love it, in a most grammatically incorrect way.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Yes, indeedy!

And now's the time! Farmers' Market is full of the small early crop.

-Erik

PS. Okra is in the same plant family as Hibiscus (Malvaceae) and has lovely yellow blossoms.

edited for usage.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I have twenty four lovely quarts of pickles -that's 16 lbs. of okra, plus garlic, sliced ginger, dill, some pickling salt, garlic, serrano peppers, tabasco peppers,vinegar, (I used regular white vinegar in the hot ones and Steen's Cane Vinegar in the sweet ones) and a few baby carrots just to make the jars look colorful.

I also ended up with 4 jars of what will probably be hot as hell pickled pole beans, as I have them coming out of my ears (reminder to self, don't plant so many beans). I used up the rest of my peppers and garlic in them and they might be a tad on the nuclear side.

Anyway, if you are coming to Varmint's Fabulous Pig Pickin and you are particularly nice to me, I might grace you with a jar. Sign up now. Times a wastin.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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PS.  Okra is in the same plant family as Hibiscus (Malvaceae) and has lovely yellow blossoms.

eh! that 'splains a lot to me.

my grandmother used to smush hibiscus leaves into

a slimy mess which we were made to use as hair

conditioner. it did leave hair very silky smooth though....

milagai

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Here's a shrimp and okra gumbo done the old-timey way in Vermilion parish, Louisiana.

We started with two pounds of okra, a large onion, and a large bell pepper. Two-thirds cup of vegetable oil.

We also had two pounds of Gulf shrimp, which we peeled and seasoned in advance with salt, black pepper and red pepper and kept in the ice box. With the shells we added a large onion cut in two and several stalks of celery, water, and made a shrimp stock. The final product took 8 cups of shrimp stock.

Here's how the okra and vegetable mixture looked at the beginning of the process:

gallery_19353_1625_65393.jpg

Put a lid on it and cook it over medium heat. Our electric stove has settings for Lo-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-HI and we put it on 6 but lowered it to 5 or 4 whenever it started scorching. We stirred fairly often, about every 10 or 15 minutes, and occasionally added a little water to help out.

After a half hour it looked something like this:

gallery_19353_1625_176795.jpg

It's pretty slimy at this stage. The idea is to cook it down until that slime is gone and the okra has considerably disintegrated. Then we will add tomato sauce and shrimp stock, and shrimp. I wasn't able to capture the texture too well with my camera, but you will get the idea.

After an hour the texture and the color are changing:

gallery_19353_1625_236550.jpg

This needs to go some more!

The smell is terrific. This is going to be very concentrated okra, very thick! We won't be using any roux at all with this gumbo. It will be plenty thick because of the okra.

It looks something like this after an hour and a half. The volume seems reduced about half. Even the color is changing to something like brown.

gallery_19353_1625_417655.jpg

Ready to add a cup of tomato sauce. You can add less if you like.

gallery_19353_1625_174287.jpg

You could stop right now and freeze this stuff! It can serve as the beginning of your next gumbo, or you could serve it as a vegetable side dish with rice. It's something like an okra stew.

But we added 8 cups of shrimp stock:

gallery_19353_1625_175933.jpg

You can cook it without the lid now. Season it as you like with salt and pepper. We also added about 5 Tabasco peppers from our garden. They weren't very hot. These were in our freezer from last year's garden, and they lose some of their potency.

Let it go about 10 more minutes before adding your seasoned shrimp:

gallery_19353_1625_92831.jpg

We cooked this about 20 more minutes because we like the shrimp pretty tender.

Done at last! The smell of a happy home and a good bowl of shrimp and okra gumbo country style as done in Vermilion parish, Louisiana!

gallery_19353_1625_102392.jpg

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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That's very interesting! I didn't know okra would do that - that is, lose its slime and turn brown, presumably without burning.

Now I have two version of okra to try when I get around to it. Maybe there's more to okra than bamya, after all.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Confusing Horriscope, your play-by-play detail of your shrimp and okra gumbo was fantastic. I've never seen okra cooked down that much before. No wonder you don't need a roux AND okra. Now, I get it. And I bet it was fantastic!

Thanks for posting that

Rhonda

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It was pretty good for Safeway-brand frozen okra thawed beforehand!

It started turning brown but it wasn't burned. You will know if it's burned. It turns black and the smell is not good. I tried it last year with some very tough okra grown in my garden and had to throw it away. I couldn't get the right amount of heat to break down the tough okra without scorching it.

It's sort of like slow cooking a roux. You will be tempted to stop cooking too soon, but stick with it. I probably could have gone another 15 minutes to a half hour before adding the tomato sauce.

Eight cups of stock may seem like a lot, but it all thickened up some more as the week went by. We had gumbo for two several times.

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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MCH,

It's nice to see another Magna-lite pot in the state of Maryland. How can you stand making gumbo in this Louisiana-esque weather?

Oh, and since I have not voted yet... YES. Stewed with toms. Don't see what the big deal over the slime is.

Malvacaeae family -- think marshmallows.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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MCH,

It's nice to see another Magna-lite pot in the state of Maryland.  How can you stand making gumbo in this Louisiana-esque weather?

:cool:

I swear by my Magna-lite pot but I am going to look for a dutch oven and see if that works too. Might even work better!

When you're in Maryland and you stand over a stove that long to make gumbo in the summertime, that's a sure sign of homesickness! :shock:

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

I love okra. Okra pan-fried with shrimp and red bell peppers. Okra stewed with red bell pepper paste and ground beef with lots of lemon juice, noodle-rice pilaf and a mixture of cucumbers and strained yogurt on the side. Chicken with tomatoes and okra. Indian spice mixtures and okra.

Since there was one vote for okra on this week's Lo vs. Yee Iron Chef Blog competition, I am bumping this thread up.

Also, I bought just about two dozen beautiful okra at the market (one farmer was selling boxes of 8 for $3!!!), if anyone has a suggestion for something different* to do, I am all ears.

*Something in which okra stars as a side dish vs. part of a stew.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Definately yes. I am half Middle Eastern and okra is part of our food culture and I have grown it, which is alot of fun. It is a beautiful plant that is part of the hibiscus family. ( the flower is a giveaway.)

Anyways, we eat it stewed in tomato sauce flavored with corriander over rice. Sometimes we throw lamb in and sometimes we don't. I can post the recipe if anyone wants it. It is fantastic, especially with homegrown okra. ( the okra has to be small, the large are too tough.) :smile:

Edited by kristin_71 (log)
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Also, I bought just about two dozen beautiful okra at the market (one farmer was selling boxes of 8 for $3!!!), if anyone has a suggestion for something different* to do, I am all ears.

*Something in which okra stars as a side dish vs. part of a stew.

Steam until just tender. Put in a vinaigrette made with garlic and lemon juice. serve warm or cold.

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