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What’s green and slimy and jumps through rings of fire?

September 10, 2011

Tonight the fam decided to indulge in an hour of the ever-fascinating but terribly goofy Iron Chef America.  The secret ingredient was (WHOOSH! to the left…WHOOSH! to the right…)…OKRA!

I live in the south but I am still a Yankee Doodle Girl.  Okra simply wasn’t a part of my diet when in my upbringing, and so my experience with it is quite limited.  Like most things, it is tasty when breaded and deep fried and dunked in some cool, creamy, highly caloric sauce.  And of course, it’s an integral part of gumbo.  Okra has a mucilaginous nature, and one has to figure that most okra dishes will have some element of slime in them.  I don’t mind slime if it tastes good, so that part isn’t off-putting to me.

We watched the Iron Chef and the challenger battle it out in Kitchen Stadium.  I had no idea one could do such things with okra.  Dehydrate it and pulverize it into flour for making churros?  Puree it and streak it through ice cream?  Pickle it and make a pancake upon which to rest a roasted squab breast?  Infuse it with garlic and hot peppers and make kimchi?  Combine it with andouille and panko to make meatballs?  The possibilities were endless.  And since no cilantro was involved, I wanted to taste them all.

Sparkette, however, was a bit doubtful.

Sparkette:  I don’t like okra.

Me:  When have you ever had it?

Sparkette:  I have.

Me:  Like when?

Sparkette:  I don’t know…just…sometime.

Me:  I don’t think so.

Sparkette:  And besides, ‘okra” reminds me of the whales.

Me:  That’s ‘orca”.

Sparkette:  Oh.

Yeah.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 11:59 pm

    Guess it runs in the family mistaking food for fish.

  2. September 11, 2011 12:05 am

    Deep fried with green tomatoes is my favorite use of okra. But it’s got to be firm okra and hot from the pan. Just a little ketchup to drizzle over it and I’m good to go!

  3. September 11, 2011 12:42 am

    Ugh..no cilantro, then it’s not worth eating :P

    Hahaha to the Sparkette

  4. Kellie permalink
    September 11, 2011 5:58 am

    Hahahaha! These little conversations crack me up!

  5. September 11, 2011 9:17 am

    I love okra!! The best I ever had was at the end of the time that the boys from Desire Street were with us. They had a thank you dinner and Chris and Lavar made my plate. Chris thought that I would love the dish that had okra and tomatoes in it. OH MY GOODNESS, it was so incredibly good. I talked to the ladies who were cooking. They put it out on a baking sheet, all cut open length wise, and liberally season it with Lawry’s season salt. They bake it in a 350 degree oven until it browns. This takes all the slime away. Then they sautee that trinity of celery, onion, and green bell pepper. They add cayenne or Louisana hot sauce. Diced tomatoes from a can and the okra. Cook it for long enough and at the end they add seasoned shrimp and serve it over rice. Oh my goodness, it was so good. Do you know I have never made it. I have the recipe memorized but have never made it!! Might have to include this in the menu next week!

    • September 11, 2011 12:30 pm

      Wow…I am personally not a fan of mirepoix because I don’t care for celery or green pepper, but this sounds like an incredible cacophony of flavors!

  6. Joann Eyster permalink
    September 11, 2011 3:58 pm

    The celery, onion, and bell pepper melt away to almost nothing.

  7. September 11, 2011 6:39 pm

    I’m not sure I can remain friends with someone who dislikes all three: cilantro, celery and green pepper! Girl, you need a tastebud transplant.

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