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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Char Grilled Okra

If you are not from the South you may or may not have eaten okra before, and if you did it was probably boiled and slimy.  You probably have no clue why anyone would ever eat it voluntarily much less actually plant it and hope it grows.

 The okra in our backyard is producing at an amazing rate.  It goes from a pretty flower, to a tiny vegetable, to a 4 inch long pod in about 4 days. We only have  6 plants and are almost overrun with these tasty green veggies.  Every evening TheHub grabs a bowl and paring knife and heads out the back door to "get his farmer on".  He comes in each time with a bowl of okra and cherry tomatoes. ( All of our regular tomatoes are nothing but chipmunk food, but for some reason they leave the cherry tomatoes alone.)  We are eating okra nearly every day, every way possible except boiled.

Everyone from the South knows there is nothing better than fried okra. Pickled okra is a staple of Southern pantries.  Pan sautéed okra, onions and tomatoes are delicious and of course you can't make a decent gumbo without okra.  After all these years of only eating it only these  four ways I find there is another, much simpler method to cook it. Now I have a new favorite way to eat okra.



There is no recipe for this, just directions.  About an hour before you plan on cooking, soak completely immersed bamboo skewers in water.  Soak at least one per person, but after eating these I will have a minimum of 2 per person. Wash largish fresh okra and pat dry, toss in olive oil.  Now here comes the tricky part (not really).  Poke the pointed end of the skewer through the top part of the okra close to the cap.  I made 5 per person, but that was way too few.  Next time I will have 10 pods per person.  Place the skewers across a medium heat on the grill and grill for 3 minutes, flip and grill for about 4 more minutes.  You want them soft but not mushy, with a nice char on them.  Season with a little coarse salt and eat.  It was so good and will be my go to method of preparing okra.

When you bite into them you get a little crunch, a little tenderness, a mouthful of fresh okra flavor with a hint of char. What you don't get is the calories of fried okra and slime from the boiled stuff. We were all blown away by this and have plans to repeat it this weekend.

If okra is already your friend try it this way for an easy yet delicious treat.  If you are new to the okra pool just go ahead and jump feet first into the char grilled stuff.  If you have only eaten it boiled ( bless you) give this a try.  You will be surprised!


8 comments:

  1. I'm thinking I need to go to your house for dinner! YUM

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    1. Sonya Ann, drop by anytime! Just let me know a little ahead of time. I am a really good cook but clutter is my enemy.

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  2. Grilled okra is our favorite way to cook and eat okra, too! Definitely a revelation for this Yankee transplanted to the South.

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    1. Laura, it is my new favorite and I have been eating okra all my life. It was almost a Eureka moment for me!

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  3. Also, I wanted to let you know that I stumbled across your blog through creativesavv and have enjoyed reading back through your recipes. I, too, find myself punting at the last minute so it's fun to read someone with a similar cooking style. We had your Cajun chicken stew tonight and it was fantastic! I subbed rice for the potatoes (among other things see: punting) and it was a success. :)

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  4. Thanks for stopping by! If not for the punting method of cooking I am afraid we would never eat. It seems to be an impossibility for me to go to the store and come back with what I intended to buy so I punt form necessity. Glad the Cajun stew worked for you and even happier that you used it as a guide rather than an actual map! Punters Unite!

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  5. I love your method of cooking okra much better the slimy version I had as a child.

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    1. Brandi, I can remember having boiled okra for school lunches. No one ever ate it. We are eating this nearly every day

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