Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And then there was none...

Okra. (Oh-crah). A single letter change in the phonetic spelling might better express my reaction in finding yet another helping of these pods in our CSA share this week.

The challenge lies in finding a new way to prepare repeated veggies.

Tonight I was committed to cooking off TWO week's of pent up pods - both red and green. Fortuntately, other items also remained behind and contributed to the cause: Curried Okra.

The Method

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the okra didn't CHOOSE to reappear this week. Experience a twinge of disappointment that last week's haul hadn't yet turned bad, so it must be included. Call this the ZEN approach to okra control.

  1. Chop 2# of red and green OPO okra into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Roughly chop 1 onion

  3. Heat 2-3 TBs of oil in a deep pot.

  4. Add the onion and a pinch of asafoetida (a spice used in Indian cuisine that smells of onion and garlic when cooked).

  5. Saute until the onion softens.

  6. Add 2 TBs garlic, minced and 2 TBs of ginger, grated.

  7. Add 2 TBs sweet curry powder and 1 TB of hot curry.

  8. Add 4 whole green cardamon pods and 2 whole black cardamon pods.

  9. Add 1 C eggplant, roughly chopped (This was the supposed "turnip" in this week's CSA share. Whoops.)

  10. Saute while stirring for 2-3 minutes to allow the spices to meld with the vegetables.

  11. Add okra, 1 C carrots (sliced), a few slivers of red chile pepper, and 4-5 tomatoes (chopped).

  12. Add a sprinkle of sugar, if necessary to cut the acid and/or spice.

  13. Bring to a boil and simmer on med-low for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

  14. Serve over rice.

The Results
We served this with hard boiled eggs, which were cooked according to the evidence-based procedure developed by Junior Chef #2 during last year's Science Fair project. (Start eggs in cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for six minutes. Remove from water and peel under cold water.) The salad was comprised of 5-6 varieties of OPO salad greens and dressed with a simple vinaigarette.

This was an acceptable dish. (Okra fatigue has set in. But there is none left...for now.) The okra was tender and not overly "slimy" when mixed with the other ingredients. I would have added even more garlic and perhaps a bit more salt. Black cardamon is very smokey, so take care to use it sparingly.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009