I moved to North Carolina about a month ago. One of the first things I noticed was how much more expensive the produce is in here. Cilantro for example is 3 times the price than what it was in Texas, 3 times! Oh and let’s just not talk about avocados. When I buy one I feel like I’m buying caviar.
However one of the great things about the area is the incredible amount of farmers and farmer stands there is all around.
So on one of my last visits to a near by farmer stand I got red okra, why? well because it looked pretty. I got it at a neat farm called the farmer’s daughter that has some very interesting stuff.
I’m not a fan of okra at all but I decided to give it a try since it looked so beautiful, I mean just look at it:
So after a few searches around the internet I found a recipe for oven fried okra fries and I decided to make some chipotle mayo because well everything tastes better with chipotle mayo. The “fries” part of it I guess came from the shape, however this is where I learned that there is a reason behind cutting fried okra into little rounds. It wasn’t that big of a deal but if you keep reading you will see what I’m talking about.
For the okra you will need:
- 1 lb of okra (it doesn’t really have to be red)
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of garlic power
- salt and pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs
For the mayo:
- 1/2 cup of good tasting mayo (I like Organic mayo from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon of greek yogurth (or sour cream)
Preheat oven to 400 F
First cut the okra in half and add salt and pepper, let it sit for a few minutes so the salt makes the water come out of the vegetable which makes the flour stick to it easier.
Meanwhile add flour, pepper, garlic powder and seasoning to a plastic bag. Once your notice the okra has some water on the surface where you added salt and pepper is ready to go into the bag, shake it and cover completely with the flour mixture.
Mix egg and water on a plate to make your egg wash, then shake the okra to remove excess flour and pass it over onto this egg wash. Last roll it on the breadcrumbs.
Arrange your okra into parchment paper or silicon mat on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 mins or until golden brown. Then lower temperature on oven to about 120 and let it sit there for another 20 mins or until crispy.
For the mayo just cut up the chipotle in small pieces and mix with the other ingredients, if you want you could start with 1/2 a pepper and add as needed. Chipotle is very spicy so if you want just a mild flavor you could start adding just the adobo sauce that comes in the can.
And this is what I thought it would be, okra fries. The reality is that after I took the first bite it was impossible to chew because of the fibers. So to fix it I just made it into “bites” and cut them in pieces. I would prob do that before baking next time and it may even reduce baking time.
So here is the final product, okra bites with chipotle mayo:
Buen provecho : )