Since that day, I know my Okra and I know my Lady Finger. Okra is a rich source of countless nutrients, including starchy fiber, vitamin B6 and Folic acid. And that is why it is an exceptional food for pregnant women. You can do so much with Okra that right now I can already think of about 6 or 7 very different Okra dishes I have tried my hand at. You can make Okra pickles, eat it in raw salads, add starch to your stews, substance to your soups and lightly fry n' bake to make some yummy crispy Okra chips. I will cover all of them in time but for now, this is what I cooked today for my cookout. A quick 20 minute sweet n spicy snack dish that could be a meal in itself or could be used with crackers. I went with the cracker option as I have become weary of seeing cheese crackers with pepperoni or salami.
- Half lb of whole okra
- One garlic clove (crush it)
- One teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (or any vegetable oil would suffice)
- One teaspoon of the Dance Spice Blend
- Salt to taste (optional)
- One tablespoon of honey (or a teaspoon of simple table sugar)
As a party platter, it is good for up to 12 people for a solid appetizer. As a meal, it is good for 2.
Rinse and dry your fresh Okra. Trim the caps and cut into small slices. Heat oil in a pan, add the spice blend keeping the heat at high and throw in the crushed garlic. Stir the garlic in sizzling oil/spice mix and saute very briefly. In simple, from throwing in the spice to sauteing the garlic, it should not take more than one minute.
Now add the chopped okra and sprinkle few drops of water. Cover your wide pan and turn the heat to low/medium. Cook it gently for about 15 minutes occasionally stirring gently until you do not see any sticky liquid (or for that matter any liquid at bottom). When you will lift the pan cover, you will be entranced for a few seconds by an aroma that is as rich and unique as you are.
Add the sugar or honey to the dry sizzling mix, and turn the heat to high. Shakeyshake the pan for a minute until all of Okra is covered with a fine glaze. Turn off the stove, and pour it out on some flat platter and spread it to let the steam blow away. This step is very important for that unique taste and texture difference between chewy and gooey Okra.
Now try this chewy Okra with some crackers. Open up a cheap jar of sauerkraut and you got a party going. Gin & Tonic with Bay leaves plus a dab of lime perfectly compliments this party rocker.