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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.

Zucchini Leek Pancakes (Latkes)

12 Dec

Classic potato latkes are wonderful and such a lovely way to celebrate Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights. But why stop there? Zucchini and leeks come together to make these fluffy, crispy little gems. My younger brother went crazy for these! They would be good with just about any combo of veggies. Happy Hanukkah

Time: 20 minutes           Yield: 18 pancakes

Ingredients


  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, well cleaned, and cut into half moon slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium to large zucchinis, shredded – about 5 cups
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup AP flour/oat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

How to make it


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove leeks to a large bowl.
  • Add grated zucchini to sauteed leeks. Stir to combine. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Scoop 1/3 cup of zucchini mixture into the hot oil, and flatten the mixture into a thin circle. Cook in batches, careful not to crowd in pan. Cook pancakes for 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and slightly crisp. In between each batch of pancakes, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and allow oil to heat up before adding batter.

Moroccan Carrots With Harissa

2 Dec

Another dish I made and served to my family and friends for Rosh Hashanah. Like the beet dish, we were able to use this dish as part of a ritual and to make a special blessing over it. I found this recipe on FeedMePhoebe.com where the author expounds on the skin benefits of eating carrots.Well, that’s another added bonus! This dish is delicious hot, room temp, or chilled.

Time: 20 minutes           Serves: 6-8

Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled & sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

How to make it


  • Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and saute for about 8 minutes, until they’ve released their moisture and begun to brown.
  • Add cumin, paprika, turmeric, and salt. Continue to saute until spices are very fragrant and begin to form a paste on the carrots.
  • Add harissa, honey, and lemon juice. Use liquid to scrape any brown bits stuck to skillet as needed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish if desired.

Sweet Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

14 Nov

A great way to enjoy sweet potatoes. This recipe can be easily adapted to your tastes, by changing the seasonings or adding in other veggies. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

Time: 3o minutes            Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled & grated – about 5 cups
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp – 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste (I used about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • cooking spray

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Combine potato, eggs, 2 tbsp flour and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Add more flour as needed for the mixture to just hold together.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Take small handfuls of mixture and drop onto skillet, pressing down lightly to even out. Cook for about 3 minutes, then turn and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 5 minutes on each side.