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story.lead_photo.caption Fried Potatoes With Burnt Okra (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Recently a co-worker left a bounty of backyard garden extras on our newsroom's "giveaway" table, including a grocery sack full of bright green, fresh-picked okra. The pods were so fresh they were picture-perfect with nary a bruise or blemish.

I helped myself to two handfuls knowing exactly what I would make with them.

This is by far my favorite way to eat okra — fried until toasty and crunchy, some might even call it burnt. It is practically slime-free, a requirement for optimal okra enjoyment at my house.

Fried taters, as my granny called them, provide textural contrast with their crisp, browned edges and meltingly creamy centers. Red-skinned, russets or gold potatoes will work, each with slightly different results.

You could use bacon grease in place of the vegetable oil, but that verges on gilding the lily. A little onion, garlic, salt and pepper is all the embellishment this recipe needs.

Fried Potatoes With Burnt Okra

Vegetable oil

1 ½ cups sliced okra

Salt and ground black pepper

2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

½ small onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced or mashed to a paste

Heat enough oil to generously coat in a deep skillet (I used cast-iron) over medium heat. Add the okra and season with salt and pepper. Cook until okra is beginning to brown on the edges. Push okra to one side of skillet and add the potatoes and onion. Season again with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until okra is deep golden brown and potatoes are tender. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (using ¼ cup oil) contains approximately 207 calories, 1 g protein, 14 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol and 2 g fiber; sodium varies.

Food on 09/04/2019

Print Headline: 'Burnt,' slime-free okra is scrumptious

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