When I was a little girl, there was a time we either had a garden or a productive neighbor. We had fresh okra and lots of it. My mom jokes that she put okra in everything, even okra gravy. Rather than a little okra here and a little there, it seems to multiply x1000s when it’s time to pick it. That time is now and some of my neighbors have directed their overflow my direction. Unlike my mom, I’m not real creative with this vegetable and our family prefers it fried. I would like to make a gumbo though.
To freeze excess okra to fry, this is what I do:
Rinse the fresh pods, pick out the dead leaves .
Cut off both ends.
“Blanche” the okra – I use a 2 piece pot, the inside basket has drain holes. Bring the water to a boil, then quickly add the okra and boil 4 minutes. This quick boil helps to kill bacteria. (I use my boiling water for 3-4 batches of okra, and just keep it going until I’m finished)
Immediately immerse the drained pods into ice water.
I don’t leave mine for more that 5-6 minutes in the cold water, just long enough to quickly cool it off. I’ve found leaving it sitting in the water will cause a slimy coating. Keep adding ice as needed. Drain in a colander, slice and coat with 3/4 cornmeal, 1/4 flour, salt and pepper.
I pass my coated okra back through a colander to thoroughly coat it and remove excess cornmeal. Lay out on a baking sheet and freeze. In 3-4 hours you can bag up your frozen okra in meal size portions, label and pop it back in the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat it, just drop the okra into hot grease and fry until brown and crispy. Yummm!!