I grew up eating fried okra and potatoes and have always loved it. I have many fond childhood memories around my grandparent's table in Texas, chowing down on beans, cornbread and fried okra and potatoes (see my recipe for pinto beans here). Grandma always cooked the okra and potatoes together, with a little cornmeal sprinkled on for a golden brown crust. My dear hubby loves fried okra, but had never had it cooked with potatoes, so I had to introduce him to it. Needless to say, he loves it and now it is one of our favorite dishes, right up there with our favorite comfort foods like Grandma's chocolate pudding cake, which I need to post here as well (note to self).
In between mornings in the garden and other chores we do on our little five acres, I do manage to do a little cooking. We have been doing some critter interdiction in the garden and so far we are winning that little war, but it means checking first thing every morning to see if our efforts have thwarted him one more time. We are also planning a major redo of our deck, which has 20 year old composite deck boards that are getting brittle and full of holes anywhere a chair leg happens to land a little too hard and the railing around the deck is not up to code. So we have a lot of projects in the works that keep us away from the computer and out of the kitchen. Summers are when we get all the outdoor projects done because most of winter is just too cold and sometimes, too snowy.
We are also working on a small indoor greenhouse idea and my dear hubby has been working on the LED lights for it, so we have been going back and forth with that trying to get everything just right. It's turning out pretty nice for something put together with what we have on hand, so I will post about it a little later when we are sure everything is working. Our last frost date here in the mountains is May 18, so I won't put tomatoes and peppers out til about June 1. I started everything from seed weeks ago and now am transplanting into 3" pots. I need a safe, warm and well-lit place to keep them until I can plant them. In between all these projects, I managed to whip out a quick meal of smoked brisket from the freezer with fried okra and potatoes on the side. My husband makes a mean smoked brisket, but I, on the other hand, am the veggie cook. Teamwork!
This recipe is for about four small servings, or two large, but can be easily increased by using equal proportions of diced potatoes and okra. For every 4-5 cups of diced veggie, add an egg and stir well to coat all the pieces. I use onion powder and garlic powder for a little extra flavor, but you could add the real thing in place of the spices if you choose. I haven't tried it so can't say how it will turn out. Add cornmeal until you get it fairly well coated, as in the picture below. I like to use white cornmeal, but yellow will work just as well. I typically measure it in handfuls, so exact proportions aren't necessarily critical.
We like our okra and potatoes with a little ketchup on the side. I always add a little Tobasco sauce to my ketchup and stir it up and it is just right for dipping a crisp piece of okra or potato. I am a ketchup dipper, not a ketchup topper. This dish is especially good with fresh, hot cornbread topped with pinto beans and lots of bean juice to soak up in the cornbread. If you are not a bean cooker, canned pinto beans are a good option. Just warm them up on the stove or in the microwave. Fried okra and potatoes might also be a good first layer for a nourishing bowl, topped with some kind of protein and fermented veggies. There are many options to try, depending on your particular tastes.
My preference is fresh okra when I can find it, but it is a scarce commodity here in the southwest mountains. I am trying a short season variety in my garden this year to see how they turn out. Hopefully, we can put a few containers in the freezer if we don't eat them all while they are fresh. Some folks like boiled okra, but my dear hubby and I are not in that particular camp. They are just a little too slimy for our tastes. The frozen brand I buy comes pre-cut, just right for frying, so that is something of a time saver as well. I do not thaw it completely before I cook it, but will rinse it in a colander just enough to remove any icy bits.
I use canola oil for frying. I like to use a skillet with sides high enough for about 1" of oil. I set the heat to medium high and test it by dropping in one piece of okra or potato. It should sizzle and bubble if it is hot enough. When you are sure the oil is hot, add the okra and potatoes. Your skillet should be big enough to spread the veggies out in a single layer. Don't walk away and leave them, but let it cook for 3-5 minutes then turn and stir and let it cook a few minutes more so it gets crispy and golden brown all the way around. It only takes 10-15 minutes of frying to be completely done. Remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on 2-3 paper towels to drain. You can also put down a layer of newspaper and lay a paper towel on top to drain away the excess oil.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do and if you try it, please leave a comment and let me know how it turned out.
Hi there! I am Jeannine.
I believe that a holistic and balanced approach to life is a must when living with an autoimmune disease. I share gluten and dairy free recipes and all the other things I do here. I just like doing stuff and making stuff.
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