Friday, August 19, 2011
Food for Thought -- An Ode to Okra
Hi Meltingpot Readers,
As you can imagine, with a new baby in the house, and two growing boys to feed, dinner time has become a serious issue in the Kinky Gazpacho household. There never seems to be enough time or energy to make a nice meal these days. Not to mention, who has time to grocery shop? Well, I was tickled pink -- or I should say purple -- the other day, because a good friend of mine dropped a big bag of homegrown veggies on my doorstep. Included in the mix? A huge bag of purple okra.
Dear readers, I've never been a huge fan of okra. And el esposo claims he's never seen okra in Spain. Honestly, I really only thought of okra as a necessary ingredient in gumbo. Generally I shied away from it because of its distinctive slimy texture. Recently, I sampled a Malaysian dish, a stir-fry with shrimp and okra, and found it tasty but the slime factor still kind of grossed me out.
So what to do with the big bag of purple okra? I have to admit, they were gorgeous to look at, but that didn't mean I wanted to eat purple slime either. And it was way too hot to make gumbo. So I let my meltingpot mind wander and came up with a delicious recipe instead. I made a shrimp and chicken curry with all that okra.
Basically I sauteed all the okra with onions and green pepper. Added curry powder and some extra spices, threw in chicken breast, cooked that, then added chicken broth and coconut milk, and then tossed in shrimp. Served it all over brown rice and it was delicious!!! Oh, and for a salad I made a cucumber and pineapple salad. So yummy and refreshing.
Now, I'm all about okra. If you cook it long enough the slime goes away and adds a nice thick texture to a curry, for example. My mom also gave me a recipe for okra fritters. I'm going to try those as soon as the heat index comes down, because who wants to smell fried anything in this weather?
I found this website all about okra and am happy to report that okra is also super chock full of nutrients too. And it's so multicultural! So, suffice it to say, okra will definitely be on the menu in this house from now on.
Do you have any okra recipes? Do you even eat okra? Why or why not? I'm listening.
Peace and Sweet Baby Feet.