Fried Okra

The other day my roommate and I went to the farmer’s market, where 5 oz of okra was part of my farm share. I’ve never had okra before, to my knowledge, but my roommate is from Tennessee and waxed poetic about fried okra. So, with plenty of time on my hands, I decided to try it.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture. With my eyes closed it could have been fried zucchini. (My roommate just came home, tasted one, and said, “Good job.” High praise from someone who’s been eating her mama’s recipe her whole life.)

I used this recipe from Allrecipes, and I would definitely do it again. My one complaint is that there was more than half the cornmeal mix left over once all the veggies were in the skillet. Next time I’ll throw in some other vegetables for good measure.

 The okra, just begging to be eaten.

Since there was so much leftover batter, I made what my mom calls pancakes but are secretly fritters. When I was a kid, my oldest sister was a vegetarian for several years. She loved my mom’s chicken schnitzel but couldn’t eat it. So my mom would take leftover batter and cook it up with the chicken. Pancakes! Basically all I did was take the cornmeal (there was maybe 3/5ths of a cup), add a beaten egg and a couple tablespoons milk, and fry in the leftover oil.

 Eat me.

Everything came out delicious, but it doesn’t take much to realize these are gut bombs, and therefore, sometimes foods. I look forward to the next sometimes.

Tomato Pie

Tomorrow I’m going to an outdoor play with a bunch of people, and even though it wasn’t strictly necessary to bring a meal to share, I decided I would anyway. Coincidentally I had a lot of tomatoes to use up. I queried my social networks and ended up getting talked into tomato pie.

Now, I am not a Southerner. Tomato pie is a distinctly Southern food that I’ve never even eaten, let alone thought about making. But it looked easy, so I decided to go for it. Looking at the mayonnaise content, though, nearly gave me a heart attack. Luckily, my CSA recently posted a recipe for homemade mayo that made me feel better about slathering a pie in 3/4 cup of it.

So the first step was making the mayo.

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You need: eggs, a lemon, canola oil, olive oil, salt, and mustard.

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The eggs, lemon juice, mustard, and salt went into my trusty stick blender.

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After mixing in the oil, I poured it into a jar, and this is the final product. It’s delicious and rich. Like store mayo but ten times better. I find the consistency a little thin, but that can be improved with more oil, and probably with extended refrigeration.

Important tips: the eggs are raw. There’s no way around that. If you’re not keen on eating raw eggs, you shouldn’t use this recipe. But you can avoid getting sick if you use safe eggs (know your source), keep it in the fridge, and don’t use it in recipes that will be left out all day. Once you’ve made it, use it inside of a week.

Even though about half this batch went into the pie, there’s a bunch left. I foresee many sandwiches this week.

Next, it was onto the pie.

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(Yes, it’s a pre-fab pie crust. Shh.)

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In the crust: a whole yellow onion, chopped; a jalapeno, chopped, for a little kick; 6 or 7 roughly chopped and seeded tomatoes.

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Topped with 3/4 cup mayo mixed with 1/3rd cup Parmesan and a little more than that in mozzarella.

And 35ish minutes later…

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Can’t wait to cut this up tomorrow!