Friday, September 07, 2012

Oven-Fried Okra

Fried food is delicious. Part of the reason it is so delicious is that it keeps things - and forgive me for using this word - moist. I remember one year my family deep-fried a turkey for Thanksgiving. Not only did it cook in a fraction of the time, but it was reportedly very moist - a stark contrast from the dry turkey that comes from the oven. (Note: I haven't eaten turkey since I was 13, so this is all based on my family's accounts.) The Texas State Fair teaches us that with the proper batter, all kinds of things can 'successfully' be fried, including beer, butter, and Kool-Aid.

That being said, fried okra is a wonderful Southern treat, along with fried pickles. I am a fan of okra in general (particularly pickled!). But you know I don't fry things at home! So I was very exciting to see this oven-fried recipe on Pinterest! I even got fresh okra from the farmer's market to use in this recipe.

But as I said, the wonder of frying is that it keeps things moist. And since this is baked, this recipe absolutely fails at that. Because what happens when you roast okra for 40 minutes? It shrivels and dries. It becomes tough and weird and small. It is not terrible, but it was certainly not as good as it could have been. I was not really a fan of this and would not make it again.

okra

Oven-Fried Okra
Cookin' Cowgirl via Pinterest

16 oz bag frozen sliced okra, thawed {about 3 1/2 cups}
1 teaspoon Cajun or creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Canola oil spray
1 gallon ziploc bag

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Turn the zip-lock bag inside out and spray with canola oil spray.

2. Pour the okra in the bag along with the Cajun seasoning and garlic salt. Seal bag and shake vigorously. Let rest for 10 minutes so the juices extract from the okra.

3. Add the cornmeal to the bag and shake up again. Let rest 10 more minutes. Give the bag one more good shake. Pour okra over a strainer or colander {either over the sink or over a bowl} so the extra cornmeal will fall off. Spread the okra over a foil covered baking sheet and spread out evenly. Spray okra with canola oil spray.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, flip okra over, lightly spray again and return to oven for 20 more minutes. And that's it!

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