It's not as cold this morning as it has been. The temperature is right at freezing instead of several degrees below. What makes you warmer on frigid day? I say vegetables. Including okra, if you can get it. In the U.S. you can easily find okra either fresh or frozen. In France, okra (on les appelle des gombos en français) is more exotic and harder to find.
Luckily, we have two sources for fresh okra within driving distance. Both are in the Blois area, 25 miles (40 km) north us Saint-Aignan. One is a corner shop called Asia Store, near the train station in central Blois. The other, south of town, is the larger Grand Frais supermarket, which specializes in produce that you don't find in the big, conventional supermarket chains.
I enjoy okra enough to buy it fresh in bulk quantities, trim the pods, blanch them in boiling water, and freeze them on trays so that they stay separate and I can take just out as many as I want for a meal. They thaw quickly when frozen individually that way. Then you can make specialties like Okra and Tomatoes, shown in the photos above. I've blogged about it before. Okra, strips of bell pepper, onions, spices, herbs, and canned tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes in summer) with a splash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar.... Serve it with rice, millet, quinoa, or wheat berries.
I grew up in South Carolina where this was a staple in our diet. Boy, do I miss it. Frozen will never cut it with me, and we seldom see it fresh where I live in Massachusetts now.ReplyDelete
I never understood the slimy criticisms, and I love popping those seeds!
For me, frozen okra is better than no okra at all, and I buy it fresh but have to freeze it. Otherwise, it's a 50-mile drive up to Blois just to buy some fresh okra to cook. I don't do that every week or even every month. I think the seeds are why okra is so good for us, and the fiber (but it's not stringy if the okra pods are young and fresh). Walt and I made fried okra a few days ago, but I'm still not sure I like it that way. It's better in gumbo or stewed with tomatoes.Delete
Your okra posts always make me smile, because we know how much you love it :)ReplyDelete
I do love gombos — they are the seed pods of a variety of hibiscus with big, beautiful flowers — and I think everybody should learn how to cook and enjoy them. Slow-cooked with tomatoes or in a Louisiana gumbo, the okra release a "sap" that is a delicious, silky thickener.Delete
:) I grew up mostly, in North Carolina. I loved and still love, Fried Okra .. I find mine in Fish Camps these days.ReplyDelete
I sure won't be attempting to make it myself.
My grandfather was a chef, he made creole soups with okra in them .... I wish I could have a bowl of that today.
In Sunny ( not) Florida ( chilly and grey)
Here's another flavorful way to cook okra:ReplyDelete
Spicy Indian pan-roasted okra
Okra is one of my favorites. They used to grow it near Indio in Southern California. I wonder if they still do?ReplyDelete
I've planted okra here in the past, but without great results. Not enough hot weather...Delete
send some to me..ReplyDelete
: ^ )Delete
They are good roasted in the oven too. Have you ever tried to grow them? They are easy to grow from seed.ReplyDelete
I think our summers here are not hot enough for growing okra. As CHM mentioned, okra are grown in the hot, arid desert of southern California. I might try to grow a plant or two in our new greenhouse next summer, however, along with basil, which also likes hot weather.Delete
And next time I get some fresh okra, I'll trying roasting it in the oven.Delete
Coat them with a little olive oil. I hope the greenhouse works. Okra are so much better right out of the garden. I planted some last summer, but a deer ate all my plants. She saved me one about the size of my little finger!Delete
I am off to the farmers market today to find some okra and fresh tomatoes ... yes, I am going to try your recipe.ReplyDelete