Baked ‘Fried’ Okra

Justin Timberlake came out with a new song. It’s the first thing since 2006 when he brought sexy back.

I have been a fan of JT since his NSYNC days, of which I will proudly and openly admit my JC Chasez crush. Sorry Justin. I switched to a JT fan once his first solo album came out  … and JC struggled as a ‘judge’ on some dance show. (I know Justin’s married now but we obviously had a chance together, especially when he got to his suit wearing years.)

There’s a point to this. Promise.

You see, JT and I are a lot alike. Sometimes we just need a little break to perfect our crafts, or just work overtime. And in the blogging world… 2+ months = roughly 7 years.

Well…I’m back. And it’s time… so let me show you a few things, including this baked ‘fried’ okra.

'Fried' Okra

Being from Texas I know there are only two ways to ever eat okra. 1) Pickled and 2) Deep Fried (surprise!).

Having grown up and lived in the Evergreen state I’ve learned that 1) Okra isn’t nearly as popular and 2) Neither is fried food.

Side note: okra is slimy and a little weird. You’ve got to move past it because it’s so dang good.

Prep Okra

This recipe is simple. No messy goopey battered fingers and easy clean up thanks to freezer ziplock bags. This is a kind of a non-chicken version of shake and bake.

Using the bag also helps to get a nice even coating. I’m a fan of thick, crispy coating. (I think it’s a carb thing, like wanting only the cobbler part of fruit cobbler.) The corn meal and egg combo really does the trick. Okra Dipped

So get out there, whip these up and eat the whole batch. I mean, why not? They’re baked!

Baked Fried Okra

12 oz. frozen okra, thawed

3/4 c. corn meal

1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 egg

1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the thawed okra into a gallon size freezer bag. Beat together egg and milk and pour into the bag with the okra. Mix around to completely coat the okra.

After the okra is coated, scoop the okra out using a slotted spoon (to drain off excess egg/milk mixture) and put it into a clean freezer bag. Pour over the corn meal and spice mixture. Shake around until completely coated. If you don’t drain off the excess, it can be a little gloopy and won’t have the nice separate pieces. If that happens, adding a little more cornmeal can help. Then pour onto a lightly greased baking sheet, in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 20 minutes. Eat hot, right out of the oven with a side of ketchup.

Where Everything’s Bigger

It’s Wednesday evening and I just got home from my first day at work after a two week vacation. I had exactly 222 emails to greet me this morning.

I need to go back to my happy place so I just thought I would share some of it with you…

I’m exhausted, good exhausted. I think thats what usually happens on vacation.

I’m sunburnt, I mean ripe tomato sunburnt. Thank goodness I don’t see my dermatologist for a few weeks, she would KILL me. But I’m over-dosing on aloe, hoping for a nice tan in a few days.

I’m full of love. Sometimes I think I have to be one of the luckiest people alive. I’ve got family that isn’t just blood related. To feel unconditional love from so many people, its pretty legit. My love tank is far from “E”.

When most people think Texas, they think Hairspray, Humidity, Heat, and Howdy but for me, Texas is my motherland.

This is my Texas… and there’s always Shiner on tap.

We went down to Austin for a wedding. It just so happened to have some of the most beautiful wedding flowers I have ever seen. They scream Spring, right?!

Architecture in Fredericksburg, a quaint Hill Country town.

Rustic fence while hiking the Greenbelt in ATX. Very Texas, the only thing missing is a cowboy in Wranglers leaning against it.

The dirt and rocks above is supposed to be a river. Much of Texas is experiencing a major drought, again. Me? Well, I live in the rain and Seattle is in no drought. Admittedly, I’m selfish… I wanted nothing to do with rain. Now that I’ve left, lets pray for a good soaking.

A great winery in the Hill Country of Texas. Okay, I can’t really say great since I don’t drink wine, beautiful nonetheless.

It’s a beautiful place. My roots are there and always will be no matter where I go.