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Cornmeal Fried Okra

6 May

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I was going to prepare the okra I got from the farmers market as Sambal Bendi with chili paste and dried shrimp but then I thought… I’ve been posting a lot of Asian inspired recipes lately, and while there’s nothing wrong with that b/c I love to cook and eat Asian cuisine, I wanted to give you all some variety. Now let’s bring it back to the bottom of the map. Somewhere I stumbled at, somewhere they eat gumbo at. Yes, I am paraphrasing Lil Wayne. Most people who know me know that I get amped up on hip hop to start my day. Plus my momma is from New Orleans so this recipes has me really excited!

Time: 15 minutes                     Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 pint fresh okra, rinsed & patted dry – try to avoid large pods as they tend to be tougher
  • 1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 2 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used brown rice flour for a wheat-free option)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sea salt, to taste

How to make it


  • Preheat oil to 375F in a deep fryer or wok.
  • Cut tops and ends off okra pods, then cut into about 1″ discs.
  • Combine cornmeal, flour, and Creole seasoning in a large, shallow dish. Add okra slices, in batches, and toss to coat.
  • Working in batches, drop okra into hot oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove and transfer to a paper towel lined. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Pan-Fried Baby Bok Choy

30 Apr

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A quick, easy preparation that yields delicious results.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2-3 heads baby Bok Choy, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it


  • Heat oils in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add bok choy cut sides down. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine sriracha, tamari, and honey. Add to bok choy during the last minute of cooking.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle sesame seeds over top.

Stovetop White Cheddar Jalapeño Mac

8 Apr

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I’ve been meaning to make this at home for quite some time. I made it up while in a local brewery restaurant. I love the contrast of the sharp creamy cheddar with the spicy peppers.

Time: 15 minutes             Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 8 oz. mini shell (Conchiglie) pasta (I used quinoa & corn – GF)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup diced & seeded jalapeño peppers

How to make it


  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  • Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain pasta.
  • Meanwhile, add butter to a medium saucepan – large enough to house all ingredients eventually – over medium-high heat. Once melted, add flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pasta, cheese, Greek yogurt, and diced jalapeños. Add some cooking water, about 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is met. I used 1/2 cup.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy

6 Apr

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One of the farmers I buy produce from grows lovely baby bok choy. This is a great way to enjoy it!

Time: 15 minutes             Serves: 2 

Ingredients


  • 3 heads baby bok choy, well cleaned between leaves @ root, cut in half length-wise
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

How to make it


  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil lightly.
  • Combine soy, Sriracha, sesame oil and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Place bok choy cut side up on a plate. Brush with soy mixture, reserving half for other side.
  • Place bok choy cut side down onto grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Brush with remaining soy mixture and turn. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Middle Eastern Sautéed Spinach

19 Feb

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Simple ingredients and preparation yield delicious results. I learned this recipe from an Israeli woman several years ago. She told me that this is a traditional way to cook a variety of greens, so feel free to experiment – just adjust cooking times accordingly.

Time: 10 minutes               Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound baby spinach leaves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

How to make it


  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes being careful not to let it brown.
  • Add spinach and toss to coat with oil & garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes until all of the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with sea salt and red pepper. Add lemon juice and stir to incorporate.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

 

Pineapple “Fried” Rice

17 Jan

Leftover pineapple inspired me to create this dish. It has a great balance of flavors and textures. I served it with teriyaki-marinated roasted chicken thighs.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • cooking spray
  • 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl with s+p to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used Canola)s
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed & halved
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used Basmati) – leftover 1-2 days is best
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • rice vinegar, to taste
  • ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, trimmed & sliced thinly on an angle

How to make it


  • Prepare a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium. Add eggs and cook until set, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook another 1 minute, or until done through. Set on cutting board to cool. Once cool, roll up and slice in thin strips.
  • Heat veg oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add carrots and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, peas, and sprouts. Cook about another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender crisp.
  • Add rice, egg, and pineapple. Season with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a bit of s&p (less is more to start). Mix to incorporate, cook to heat through – about 3-5 minutes. Add more seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion to serve.

Sherae’s Baked Mac & Cheese

9 Jan

My beau’s Aunt Sherae’s recipe is perfect to me and I consider myself a mac & cheese connoisseur. I just love it and I hope you do too!

Time: 10 min prep, 30 min cook             Serves: 4 entrees/6 sides

Ingredients


  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked al dente in salted water & cooled (I used cavatappi and ran cold water over it to cool quickly.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups shredded extra sharp and sharp cheddar (I used sharp only and it was great), 1 cup reserved
  • *Be sure to have items cooled properly where specified otherwise you’ll end up starting to cook the eggs and that won’t be good.

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8×8 casserole dish or similar with cooking spray.
  • Combine all ingredients (except reserved cup of cheese) in a mixing bowl and stir to incorporate. Pour into casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to top rack of oven, turn on broiler to 425F and broil for about 2 minutes or until top reaches golden brown crispiness desired.