Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Farm Fame (by okra)

I have tried several times this week to upload some great new farming pictures, to no avail! I guess it's about my Mac browser? I don't really know. Maybe it's the dial up connection. But it worked a few weeks ago! Argh.

I will solve my technical problems and bring lots of pictures of summer bounty and hard labor here.

In the meantime... I have to scream with joyful anticipation of an upcoming event at the farm - I found out today that Alton Brown - the cool, whacky, witty, so appealing guy from the Food Network, is coming to the farm on Aug. 14th! His article in a Bon Appetit issue taught me how to make gourmet turkey at Thanksgiving. Apparently he used to be a music video director. I have only seen him on the Food Network once, but it was very memorable!

We have had the Food Network at the farm before, but not Alton Brown! He is coming to do a piece on okra. The good pieces on us are always about the okra! So strange. Fame by okra. Nicolas and Gillen were in a picture on the front of the New York Times food section a few years ago, in an article about our okra. Nicolas says this is why he must be growing it. If you haven't experienced it, okra is brutal to pick. It causes rashes that used to keep me itching for weeks. not everyone is so sensitive. If you wear long sleeves and pants it can't get you too badly.

I will get up early and go toil in the okra (even Jesse in tow) to be able to be part of this one. I hope he actually comes, and not just his crew. You never know.

Here's a great Okra recipe from the NY Times article :

Black Skillet Okra
time: 15 min.

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 pound tender young okra, washed
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 tbls. vegetable oil (I would use coconut and olive together)

1. stir flour and cornmeal together in small bowl and set aside. Heat 9-10 inch, well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat 5 minutes. Heat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Trim stems and pointed ends from okra, and slice pods into 1/2 inch rounds, dropping rounds into colander. Rinse lightly with water, shake to remove excess drops, and toss okra well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle coating mixture over okra and toss in colander to coat evenly. Shake colander to remove excess coating.

3. Increase skillet heat to high. Add half the oil to skillet. Drop half the okra in skillet in single layer. Wait 5 seconds, and stir. Contimue to fry and stir until okra is deep brown and crisp with spotty char marks, about 5 minutes. Transfer fried okra to sheet pan in warm oven. Using mitts, remove hot skillet from stove and wipe clean with paper towels. Return hot skillet to burner over high heat. Add remaining oil and fry remaining okra. Serve okra hot with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, fluffy rice and fried chicken or as croutons in a green salad (I serve it with corn bread and fried green tomatoes).

YIELD: 4-6 servings as a side dish.


Danielle said...

Ooooh, how cool!

My grannie used to grow okra, but then again, she was a Southern transplant living in New Jersey.

Never developed a taste for it myself, but there's always time.

Let us know when the show's scheduled to air!

Anonymous said...

WoW! Alton is coming to your farm?!? He's my favorite on the food network! Do you have food connections or what?
I love okra, it's definately a southern thing! Lot's of people grow it here in TX, too. When we are in Cali, I can hardly find it in the stores. Thanks for the recipe and for stopping by my blog!