A Very Small Batch of Air Fryer Whole Okra

I am always looking for creative ways to use local ingredients. I figured that cooking okra in an air fryer a might be a good way to use some of the fresh okra harvest which comes in late summer here in Louisiana. My “Air Fryer Whole Okra” experiment was tasty, especially because I poured on the Cajun-type seasonings. However, as a disclaimer, air fryer okra is totally different from deep fried okra. That’s because air fryers “bake” the food with a convection fan running, they don’t “fry.” Why can’t I get that small distinction internalized in my head? I made multiple batches in my air fryer to get the process standardized, using both fresh and frozen whole okra. We devoured all the batches because the okra tasted pretty good. Just don’t expect air fried okra to have a a crunchy batter that “pops.”

Continue reading

“Oven-Fried Okra Poppers” in the Wintertime

Here is a way to enjoy “Southern Fried Okra” all year long. “Oven-Fried Okra Poppers” is an adaptation of a recipe which I posted in the summer for traditional fried okra. That recipe uses fresh okra which is available in the summer months. We love fried okra and so I adapted the recipe as a way to enjoy home cooked okra in the wintertime, too. Plus, this okra is baked in the oven rather than frying cutting down on the calories and fat.

Continue reading

The Secret to Southern Fried Okra

Let’s cook fresh okra. It’s time to take advantage of this vegetable which is plentiful the summertime in the South and is easily grown in a garden here. I’ve discovered several delicious ways to fix okra since moving to Louisiana. “Southern Fried Okra” is one of those iconic recipes. My recipe is easy — using common household ingredients. It is crunchy and perfectly seasoned. The breading actually sticks to the okra for the most part. You may not want to purchase commercially breaded okra after eating this recipe. Give it a try!

Continue reading

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project

This fall I feel like I’m on the television show “Chopped”. I am participating in CSA through my employer. On Monday I get a box of fresh produce from a local farmer to bring home and cook. Get ready, open basket, wait for the buzzer to go off and I’ve got a week to cook the box of food. It’s a fun challenge! And generous helping of fresh vegetables for our family.

Week One CSA - 2 - IMG_6986_1

Continue reading

Louisiana Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Incredibly, we’re headed into several more days of freezing sleet and snow here in Louisiana. Haven’t seen this much icy weather in several years. Schools and businesses are closed; so we’re basically on lock-down. At least it would be wise to stay home and warm today and tomorrow.  Start a fire in the fireplace, do some cooking, check the blogs.

Looking around my kitchen for things to cook in this cold weather, hearty stews and gumbos come to mind. Gumbo is uniquely Louisiana; every cook probably their own recipe variation. It’s origin really isn’t know; to me it represents a melting pot of all the cultures and foods that were brought to Louisiana. Gumbo is served in southern Louisiana at about every social event–weddings, parties, church gatherings, buffets lines–I even went to a funeral in a very rural area for an deseased employee and found gumbo served at the wake!

gumbo - 2014 - IMG_1754_1

Gumbo is essentially a dark brown meaty, flavorful soup/stew served with rice; some cooks prefer thin soups, some like thicker. It’s adaptable to many ingredients that a person may have on hand in their kitchen. My favorite is Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

Continue reading