So it is okra season here in the South! I am actually growing okra for the first time at the community garden I currently help assist and Miss Okra is HUGE. Standing at maybe 4-5 ft tall producing traditional green okra everyday! Being able to catch edible okra has proven to be a challenge for me because of the distance between where I live and traveling to the garden, but when I can, its always a treat! Also if you know a thing or two about okra, once okra surpasses a size it can become hard and woody and inedible. Despite that challenge, I tend to get okra from time to time from our very own local farmers market - the South Memphis Farmers Market - where you can get a nice basketful for $5!
So when I got my okra I had in mind two dishes. If you were like me, you saw Netflix's "High on the Hog". A prominent recipe that I saw and wanted to try was an Okra stew by Michael Twitty who was featured on the docu-series (I also had a chance to see him in person when he visited my old college!). Thats a recipe that called for a little more ingredients than what I happened to have on me at the time, so I went for my second favorite okra dish - fried okra!
Fried okra, not only is it tasty and just one of the most perfect textured foods, is so easy to cook and prepare! Funny fact, the first time I ever had okra was in a gumbo my grandmother made and when I say it was one of the most off-putting textures I ever had! If you know okra, you know that it can be slimy and is one of the reasons its used in gumbo, it acts as a thickener! That was not a great initial introduction to okra, but I decided to give it another run on my own a few years later. In college I made fried okra because I encountered the now delectable vegetable while in Knoxville at their famers market. I made fried okra and it was SO good, I even used the recipe in my first digital cookbook (you can purchase here!)
My cooking skills since then have greatly improved through time, patience, and trial and error and I managed to create an even BETTER and more perfect recipe so that you can have a great hot, fresh, crispy, and flavorful okra experience too!
•10-12 Okra pods.
•Canola or vegetable oil.
•1/2 Cup milk.
•1/2 Cup yellow cornmeal.
•1 Tablespoon LEO GOODS Cajun Blend.
•1 Tablespoon LEO GOODS Roasted Potato & Veggie Blend.
•Salt to taste.
•1/4 Cup flour.
1. Cut the tops and bottoms of the okra. Slice into 1 inch pieces.
2. In a separate bowl, mix egg and milk into a wet mixture.
3. In another separate bowl, mix cornmeal, both LEO GOODS seasoning blends, and salt to taste.
4. Sprinkle flour onto slice okra and toss to evenly cute. Shake off excess flour.
5. Toss flour coated okra into the wet mixture and evenly coat, mixing with a spoon.
6. Remove wet okra and toss into cornmeal mixture into batches so that they have room to be evenly coated.
7. In a cast iron skillet, heat oil on medium until hot. Once the oil is hot, fry okra until golden brown, swirling from time to time. Remove okra and drain on paper towel. Enjoy!