Gluten Free Southern Vegetarian Recipes: Pan Fried Cornmeal Flour Okra Recipe

June 2nd, 2009 yum Posted in Corn, Southern, Vegetables, Vegetarian, okra 5 Comments »

cornmealokraokra2Although Southern food does not exactly scream either vegetarian OR gluten-free, as a Northwestern girl, I’ve always had a crush on its hearty, stick-to-your-ribs style cuisine. Of course, done the traditional way most recipes are too heavy or non-veg for my taste, so I have found my own take on the traditional that suits my house, whether it’s lightened gluten-free biscuits using Pamela’s mix, a vegetarian gumbo, or vegan gravy. The DH has a fondness for okra which I haven’t always understood, but it is also a classic Southern ingredient, and I have to say, prepared in a tasty okra Indian dish or done Southern style, this unassuming little vegetable starts to make my heart pitter-patter a little faster too. This recipe is a light take on the classic fried okra that I think might make you change your mind about okra too, so the next time you see some in the supermarket, why not pick some up and try it for yourself?

Gluten Free Fried Okra Recipe
12 pods okra, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. milk (dairy or non dairy) with a firm squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 teaspoon seasoning mix of your choice with salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp olive oil
After letting lemon juice make milk curdle slightly, add to whisked egg (or egg replacer egg) and whisk together. Add Okra and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Combine dry ingredients and put in bag with okra. Shake until okra is coated.

Heat oil in nonstick pan. Add okra and fry on each side until brown. Add a little more oil if you need it. (Or start with 1 tbsp, spread evenly in pan and add second tablespoon after you turn/shake the okra to fry the other side.)

Cool, sprinkle with more salt, and enjoy!

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Spotlight on Guest Blogger: JM’s Crispy Indian Okra Salad

July 27th, 2008 yum Posted in Indian, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, okra 5 Comments »

When we had our last Celiac Bay Area Support Group meeting, we were all treated to a wonderful buffet of delicious Indian food. I liked every dish that I tried, but one of my favorites was probably this okra salad brought by an ambitious, internationally inclined chef that we will call JM. (shhh.) I loved the dish because while I thoroughly enjoy the flavor of okra, I’ve never been sold on that sticky, slimy texture- and this recipe manages to preserve everything I love about okra and yet get rid of all the stickiness at the same time. JM is modest, and says it’s not that she has mad cooking skills but rather, mad recipe SELECTING skills. Whatever she says, this recipe was absolutely delish and everyone at the party seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. That’s why, when I found out I’d be out of town for a few weeks, I asked JM’s permission to share it here with you. Enjoy!

Crispy Indian Okra Salad
* 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
* 1/4 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional, see Note)
* Vegetable oil, for frying
* 1 pound young okra—halved lengthwise and cut into long, thin strips
* Kosher salt
* 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
* 1 medium tomato—cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (Meyer works well)
1. In a small bowl, combine the garam masala with the amchoor powder.
2. In a large, deep pot, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the okra strips, stirring a few times, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried okra to a large paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with some of the spice mixture and salt.
3. In a large bowl, gently toss the fried okra with the red onion, tomato, cilantro and lemon juice. Season the salad with more of the spice mixture and salt and serve immediately.

NOTES amchoor powder, which is made from dried green mangoes, adds a fruity, tangy note to this dish.

Everything I love about okra, and nothing I don’t… A lovely, light but CRUNCHY vegetable dish.- Sea’s comment

JM’s notes:
When the recipe says fry until golden and crisp, it means just a little past a wee bit golden. After burning the first batch, I kept pulling slivers out until they were cooked just to the point where they were crispy, which took longer than the 4 minutes the recipe suggests even with bringing the oil back up to 350 between batches. Next time I’ll fry something random before putting the food I’m actually working on in the oil, I read at some point that oil works best after it has fried something and has food bits in it. That way the slaved-over okra slivers won’t go to waste.

If you come up with some sort of shortcut to get those okra slivers slivered, please let me know! It’s just an endless process of slicing sticky okra. I don’t know if a mandolin would help all that much, but maybe.

*The okra is pictured in the upper left portion of the plate- sorry that there’s no better photo. Also pictured, channa dal, palak paneer (also made by JM), and quinoa cauliflower curry. All very yummy!*

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