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Okra Winfrey

2011 August 2
by Thehousedaddy

No disrespect intended. We love okra. Twin Springs has had the most wonderful okra this past week. Sometimes the big ones can be tough and horsey, but they have been very tender. Mostly we cook okra on the grill. It is really easy and tasty, but we also love it in dishes. Our favorite restaurant Burma serves a cold okra salad that is always a favorite of ours and somehow one night, as I often do, I renamed the dish adding the first name of a popular talk show host.

We love using seasonal vegetables in different types of cuisines when they are fresh and local. Early in the summer we had asparagus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since we knew the season was short for the local stuff and we would miss them when they were gone. We had them Asian style, Italian, Mexican and no style at all. We try to eat local and in season whenever we can. I know it is better for the world but really the reason that motivates us is that it tastes so much better. I have been known to get asparagus or broccoli from the store out of season. It usually disappoints but we still do it from time to time to satisfy a craving. We don’t have local bananas, artichokes or avocados in the DC area, but they are staples in our house. We would be even more limited as Gluten free vegans if we didn’t import. I also know that big farms or even efficient little ones can have less of a carbon footprint with the shipping than some local ones just down the road. We try and balance. Taste is usually what drives our choices.
So much of what was in the house from the last market shop was gone. I needed to go to the local grocery store to get a few organic bananas and avocados. Before I turned off the engine, I noticed that the parking lot temp was 102. It would be another night for the grill. While I was there I saw a lovely organic cauliflower and thought it would be a good mix with the okra and green onions. When I came back from the store, Virginia had shelled all the lima beans, which is no easy task. The boys cleaned and lined up the okra on the cutting board. I let them cut with a knife depending on what the veggie is. Okra can be a little tricky and with so many little fingers and little stems, so I did the chopping when I came back. We now had the makings of a really good Jambalaya. I use the term loosely, but the dish would have a New Orleans rice dish feel and taste.
In our big pan for the grill, I put the onions, limas, scapes and olive oil. I then cleaned, chopped and added the okra to an already browning mix on the grill. I usually use the highest possible heat and stir regularly. In between mixing, I ran back inside to dice some tomatoes to add to the mix. I always want to get the veggies cooking before I add something like tomatoes so the water doesn’t steam the vegetables. I want a juicy base since I want the rice to soak up the liquid and get it’s flavor without drying out the whole dish. I had the rice cooking in the rice cooker plugged in outside so as not to add to the work of the air conditioning and heat up the house. As much of the cooking process as possible takes place outside when the temps are crazy hot. I also noticed a bottle of Rioja that was leftover from the night before and added it to the mix to give it some more flavor. Red wine in a hot house doesn’t keep very well for drinking, but it is great for cooking. Paprika, salt, pepper and a healthy dash of red pepper from our friends Brooklyn garden rounded out the dish. Virginia then added the rice to the pot as I ran up to take a shower. This dish clearly had a hook for the boys with the okra and tomatoes. Okra Winfrey was back for the season.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011

    We love Okra too, just grilled it up last week without all the other colorful appointments.

    We love you.

    BW, Julie, & Oliver, oh and Bisbee too!

  2. September 3, 2011

    I desired to thanks for this fantastic study!! I surely experiencing every single tiny little bit of it I’ve you bookmarked to check out out new things you post…

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