There are some days and my homesickness starts to take over. I’d say spending a few weeks in this triple-digit Texan heat will start makin’ a girl yearn for the Smokey Mountain summers of her childhood.
Ah yes, the refreshing mountain air, the crystal-clear creeks that managed to give you chills in August, lightning bugs dancing through the summer sky…summers in east Tennessee were good stuff.
And with the heat and humidity came summer suppers. Lord have mercy, my mom knew (and still knows) how to do this right. Buttery silver queen corn, juicy watermelon wedges, velvety deviled eggs, ooey gooey tomato pie (I’m still working on Paleo-tizing that one, y’all), and crispy fried okra in bacon grease (what other way is there to cook it?). Because that wasn’t enough, she’d usually have a peach-blueberry pie or blackberry cobbler to top it off.
I learned from the best. Nough said.
While I still love summer suppers, I also enjoy looking lean in a bathing suit.
Here’s where the Southern foodie and the fitness instructor have a showdown.
Okra, in my opinion, should be served either pickled, in gumbo, or fried.
I’ve tried pan-frying, and it makes a mess and I usually get burned by splattering grease. No bueno.
Oven-frying still keeps your food crispy and crunchy without having bacon grease or lard or tallow caked on your kitchen walls. The secret to oven frying is preheating your baking sheet with the yummy fat already in it. That’s how you get that golden caramelization on your chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, or, in this case, okra.
To coat my okra, I kick old school with the tried and true Shake-and-Bake method.
I plop the cornmeal, almond flour, salt, and pepper into a gallon baggie, mixie mixie, add egg-coated okra, and then I shake it like a Polaroid picture.
Easy clean-up, and it’s so simple your little minions could do it for you!
Before okra season comes to an end here in a few weeks, go make you and your family some okra. Or secretly make it and hide it so you don’t have to share…the choice is yours, friends.
Oven-Fried Paleo Okra
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!