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Fried Okra Salad

8 Feb
Español: Frutos del gombo English: Bucket of r...

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1-1/2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal

1 tsp salt

1 pound fresh small okra pods

1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Vegetable oil

1 head Bibb lettuce, rough chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

Lemon Dressing

3 bacon slices, fried crisp and crumbled


Combine cornmeal and salt. Dip okra in butter milk; dredge in cornmeal. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet; heat to 375 degrees. Fry okra in batches, 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on a wire rack over paper towel lined baking sheet.

Arrange lettuce on a serving platter; top with tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Add Lemon Dressing, tossing to coat. Top with fried okra, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.


Lemon Dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 TBSP chopped fresh basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add oil, whisking until combined.


Serves 6





Black Bean and Smoked Chicken Soup

30 Jan
1900 advertisement for Lea & Perrins' Sauce.

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1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

Light vegetable cooking spray

1/2 cup peeled and chopped broccoli stems

1/2 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 TBSP dried thyme

1 TBSP dried basil

1/2 cup sweet white wine

8 ounces  boneless, skinless chicken breast

4 TBSP  low-calorie barbecue sauce (no oil variety)

1 cup low-fat chicken broth

12 ounces evaporated skim milk

2 cups broccoli florets

1 TBSP cornstarch, dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water

1 TBSP liquid smoke

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Tabasco sauce

1/4 cup fresh cilantro


In a medium saucepan add 2 cups water and the black beans; add bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain beans and discard bay leaf. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat; heat for 1 minute, then spray twice with cooking spray. Add broccoli stems, carrots, celery, and onion. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in thyme, basil, and wine. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until wine has reduced by half.

In the meantime, coat chicken thoroughly with barbecue sauce and bake 10 minutes on the top shelf of oven, Remove from oven and cool long enough to handle. Cut the chicken into small cubes. Add chicken, broth, and beans to the pot. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk and broccoli florets. Cook 5 minutes, stirring to keep soup from coming to a boil. Add corn starch mixture and cook for 2 minutes , stirring constantly. Stir in liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

Serves 4


368 calories per serving

3.6 grams fat

Authentic Red Beans and Rice

31 Dec

This is one of my most requested dishes. A true favorite.

1–12 to 16 ounce package smoked sausage, sliced

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 ribs celery with tops, diced

1 TBSP sugar

3–16oz cans New Orleans style kidney beans***

1–28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 TBSP minced garlic

Cayenne pepper to taste

1 TBSP smoked paprika

1 TBSP Creole seasoning

1 TBSP smoked cumin

Salt to taste

2 cups cooked white rice

Brown sausage in large Dutch oven over low heat. Remove sausage and drain. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute  until tender, stirring constantly. Add beans, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer covered for one hour, adding water if needed to prevent sticking. Stir in rice. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

***NOTE  When time permits I prefer to use dried pinto beans. It gives the dish a richer flavor.

Using Dried Pinto Beans—Thoroughly rinse a one pound bag of dried pinto beans under running water. Place beans in a Dutch oven and add 6 cups of water. Over medium high heat bring to a boil. Cook until liquid reduces by half. Add 2 cups of water and return to a boil. Reduce by half again. Add 2 cups of water and return to a boil. Beans should begin to make a thick “gravy” reduce and check beans for tenderness. If tender and thick proceed with recipe omitting canned beans.

Southern Speckled Butterbeans

31 Dec

3 quarts water

1 pound smoked pork shoulder

2 pounds fresh or frozen speckled butterbeans

2 TBSP salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer 3 hours or until beans are tender. Remove and shred pork, return to pot. Stir

Serves 6

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