Friday, August 6, 2010

Everyone knows that I LUV Garlic on just about anything as well as my LUV of all things Okra. I especially LUV pickled OKRA that I buy at Angelo Caputo's Fresh Market in South Elgin, IL 

I bet that you NEVER knew okra originally came from what is now Ethiopia, over ten thousand years ago. It is used in African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American cuisine! In addition it is famously served by being sauteed, grilled, or pickled, it is often used as a thickener in stews and gumbos. The Food Network Guru: Guy Fieri always talks about Pickled OKRA which gave me some ideas.

1 Pound Small to Medium Fresh Okra, Cut Off Ends, Cut in Quarters
½ Cup Trader Joes Almond Meal
3 TBSP Freshly Squeezed Limes
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 Small Clove Garlic, Minced
1 TSP Fresh Minced Rosemary 
1 TSP Fresh Minced Basil
1 TSP Fresh Minced Oregano
1 TSP Coleman’s Powdered Mustard or Use Liquid Honey Mustard
¼ TSPSea Salt
¼ TSP Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a large bowl pour cold water on the okra pieces to soak them.
Put in fridge and let them hang out & chill for 20 minutes. Transfer them to colander, rinse throughly in cold running water for 5 minutes. Place the strips back in bowl, cover with water, and refrigerate for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove for fridge and place okra back into the colander, rinse well under cold running water again for another 5 minutes, and let drain. With paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat the okra strips as much as possible to dry them (they will be slightly moist).
In a medium-size bowl, combine the okra strips with almond meal, and toss to coat well.
Make a vinaigrette by combining the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, coleman’s powdered mustard, garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, pepper, and sea salt in a food processor or blender. Blend while slowly pouring in the olive oil.

In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook vinaigrette until it starts to sizzle with little bubbles. Pour in the okra mixture and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to brown (the pieces will start forming cakes). With a non-stick spatula, turn over the pieces and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until browning and crisp.

Transfer the okra to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Then arrange on a platter and serve hot.

Use Trader Joes Almond Meal for any veggie you think it could go with, like fried green tomatoes, squash, and etc.

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