Fried okra patties

Okra, like beets, seems to be pretty polarizing. Haters call it “slimy.” I just think it has nice character. I especially love the pop of those seeds.

Okra is delicious sliced, sauteed in olive oil, and topped with Tobasco. It’s also good (like a lot of things) battered and fried. As a bonus, frying it seems to make it more palatable for those who are on the fence about it.

Instead of battering and frying them whole, I slice them, mix them right into the batter, and fry in patties.

They really don’t look like much. But they sure make a good TV watching snack.

The only sad thing about these patties was the lack of Tobasco, as ours was a casualty of the recent power outage.

Okra patties (makes one serving of four small patties)

  • 1 C sliced okra
  • 1/4 C chickpea flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 T olive oil, for frying

Mix okra, flour, and egg. Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil, spreading it out to make an even patty (all okra slices should be in one layer). Brown on the first side, flip and repeat. Drain on paper towels. Top with salt and pepper.

Green Goddess Dressing

A generous coworker of mine recently brought in a variety of herbs from her garden to share with whoever wanted a few. No longer having an herb garden of my own, I grabbed some basil, chives, lemon balm and oregano. Faced with a glut of CSA lettuce, I used them for dressing.

I think that real Green Goddess Dressing has anchovies in them, but I don’t care for them. And I subbed lime for lemon juice. But other than those changes (that account for 50% – 66% of the ingredients, depending on whether you’re counting the anchovies) it’s totally legitimate Green Goddess Dressing.

Hubs ate most of it as a dip for potato chips, but I did have a little as a sauce for this funny taco, made from a lettuce leaf and strip of bacon.

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1/2 cup herbs (use whatever you have)
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • Juice of one lime

Throw everything in the food processor and pulse until herbs are chopped and all is well blended. If it’s too thick, splash a little olive oil in. Too thin, add more mayo. No exact science here.

Blue cheese crumble

This is so good and so easy.

It’s awesome with apple slices and crackers, and even better on steaks or burgers.

Speaking of burgers, that’s how we served it last weekend. As a bonus, hubs got to use his new toy, a charcoal chimney.

He’s been a gas grill man, but has recently been branching out to charcoal.

He dabbled with a smoker a few years ago, but smoking stuff takes for-ever (like 5-10 hours?!). We’re kind of too last-minute for that. We’d decide at maybe 2 in the afternoon to smoke something, then end up eating at around 10pm. We’d have filled up on a million chips and dips waiting around for the magical smoking to complete, and then no one was even hungry any more. ?!?

But anyway – grill your steaks or your burgers whatever way you like (I’d avoid smoking them), then spoon gobs of this blue cheese crumble all over them. You will not be sorry.

Blue Cheese Crumble

  • 4 ounces blue cheese
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 3 T nice olive oil (I like Olive Orchard’s Sicilian for this)
  • 1/4 C finely chopped parsley (I like flat leaf parsley, but the store was out of that and the curly was just as good)
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red onion
  • pepper, to taste

Crumble the blue cheese onto a serving plate (dinner plate-sized is good). Sprinkle the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, red onion, and pepper over evenly. Serve as an appetizer on crackers or apples, or as an accompaniment to steaks/burgers.

Salad in a jar

I’m the worst when it comes to packing lunch. This is because I’m way too lazy, and always too rushed (due to sleeping in from laziness, of course). So I’ve finally come to accept that I need an option that is completely grab and go. This is it. 100% stolen from Secret Recipe Club.

Start with dressing. I used 3 T hot pepper olive oil + 1 T cider vinegar + a dash of oregano. Then layer in whatever you like, putting items not likely to wilt on the bottom and ending with the delicate bits. Mine goes carrots, celery, sprouts, mushrooms, spinach. When you’re ready to eat it, shake and dump into a bowl.

I made three of these on Tuesday, then ate one each day Wed, Thurs, and Fri. They held up deliciously.

 

Braised brussels sprouts

Yesterday, I was in NYC. We were there for work, but did have a chance at a little fun.

I drank a Stella at the top of the Standard, and watched the sun set.

I rode in an elevator with a man I later found out was David Arquette. (I’m not great at noticing things. Plus, I thought he would be taller!)

I also talked food with a lovely lady who’s spent her career as a recipe developer and food editor. When she shared her method for making these velvety textured Brussels sprouts, I knew I had to try it. It was so good, I ate all of it. Yeah. One entire pint of Brussels sprouts in one sitting. Is that weird?

Braised Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 pint fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 T bacon grease
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 C chicken stock

Trim the ends off your Brussels sprouts and slice them into thin slices. Put them into a skillet with the bacon grease over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, bright green, and just starting to brown.  Add garlic and cook for just a minute longer. Add half a cup of the stock, bringing to a boil. Let most of the liquid boil off, stirring occasionally. Repeat with the other half cup stock. When almost all the liquid has boiled off, remove from heat, salt to taste, and serve.

 

Cranberry apple tapenade

This recipe was inspired by a Pampered Chef tapenade, this delightful cranberry salsa idea, and my love of cranberries. It’s light and refreshing but still feels seasonal.

Cranberry Apple Tapenade

  • 1 sweet apple (I used Jonnagold)
  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C walnuts
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 T lemon juice

Chop apple, cranberries, and walnuts. Combine all with lemon juice and zest. Serve on buttery crackers, like Ritz.

Make sure to use a sweet apple that will offset the tartness of those raw cranberries. Otherwise, you can add some sugar.

Quick snack – warm apple cranberry sauce

I love pumpkin and all, but the seasonal treat I can’t get enough of right now is cranberries. I bought my first bag of the year yesterday. I have big plans for all kinds of baked delights studded with cranberries, but for now, this will do.

First, core and peel 2 Macintosh apples (or other apples that cook down into sauce). Add a handful of cranberries.

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Next, put it in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes. Stir every minute or so, and be mindful that your cranberries will pop. Try to keep them buried under the apples to minimize the splatter. Mash all together, and add a little sugar (1-2 t) if it’s too tart. I love how the cranberries turn it all pink.

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For a bigger batch, you can cook it on the stove top. It’s awesome for breakfast or a bedtime snack.