expanding my culinary horizons

Wednesday, September 24, 2003, at 06:58AM

By Eric Richardson

Well, not too far... A couple days ago I was at Ralphs in the frozen vegetable aisle, and happened to notice that they had breaded okra. Growing up in the south, I'm quite fond of okra when it's fried, so I bought a bag to try it out. Yesterday for lunch I made it, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Lacking a deep-fryer, I fried them in oil in a stir-fry pan. That worked out fine, though I'd cook them a little less next time. The breading was a bit on the crunchy side, but the okra inside was perfect. I was quite pleased. Between okra and butter beans I can put together a reasonably southern meal, though you won't ever find me buying collard greens.