29 March 2013

Not At All Slimy Okra

The pictures of this finished dish, as a matter of fact the finished dish in the flesh, may not inspire you to love okra.  That is, if you don't already.  I guess, considering this post and the last one, I am on a vegetables that divide the masses kick this week.  If you aren't familiar with it, and if you're not from the South you may not be, okra is one of a kind in the vegetable world.  It's closest relation in the plant world is cotton.  Yummy, right?  The most off-putting characteristic of okra is is mucilaginous goo, a.k.a its slime.  That slime is actually good for you since it is actually full of easily digestible fiber, but slime isn't exactly an appetizing food descriptive.

I grew up with okra at every family fish fry, so I love the stuff.  If it's on the menu, I almost always order it.  I actually never made okra at home before this because my husband doesn't care for it.  I decided to roast it in the oven with a good dousing of red pepper flakes.  I had high hopes that my husband might actually eat it if it was really spicy and not at all slimy.  I did succeed in getting him to eat a few bites, which is more than I can say for his previous relationship with okra.  I pretty much devoured the rest, albeit with a big glass of milk because of the spiciness.  All and all it was a big hit, which is more than I can say okra ever was before at my house.

Toss some okra with some vegetable oil and chili flakes.  I threw in the Brussels sprouts I had left over from Wednesday's post, too.  The throw it all in the oven.

Cook it for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until it looks almost burnt.  When it looks about as unappetizing as it could possibly be, then it's done.

Spicy Oven Roasted Okra

1 lb fresh whole okra pods
3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-4 Tbsp red pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, toss together the okra with the oil and pepper flakes.  Use enough oil to thinly coat the okra.  Pour the okra onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the okra is not quite burned, but is quite dark in color and crispy on the edges.  Let cool slightly before serving.

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