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Old September 25, 2011   #31
Zana
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Okra, Eggplant, Onion and Tomato Stew

Serves 6 to 8

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound okra, tops and tails trimmed
1 large eggplant, diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (about 2 medium-size onions)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo (dried, lightly salted, crushed Turkish chiles)
2 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed, reserving juices
1 cup homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons sliced and pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. In a medium stockpot, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and tossing until almost tender/translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a medium stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the okra, and cook until the color begins to change, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and repeat with remaining okra.

3. In a large stockpot, add eggplant and okra.

4. Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, and heat. Add onions and apinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook until onions are lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Stir in oregano and Aleppo pepper, and cook 1 minute.

5. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved okra and chicken stock, stirring to combine. Simmer until okra is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in olives and parsley. Taste, and adjust for seasoning.
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Old September 25, 2011   #32
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We use eggplant a lot, so here are a few eggplant ideas:

* Marinate briefly in oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, onion and basil, then grill.

* Salt it and let it sit for 1/2 hour to let it "sweat," or soak in saltwater for 1/2 hour, then pat dry, fry, and dredge through a mix of vinegar, minced garlic and salt. Eat with pita bread.

* Saute onion and garlic in oil, then add eggplant chunks and saute a little more, then add sliced tomatoes, sprinkle it all with salt and black and/or red pepper, cover and cook until eggplant is soft. Serve over rice or eat with pita bread. There are endless variations on this -- you can add other vegetables like potato, bell peppers, and squash. Probably okra would be good too. Just add the vegetables in the order of how long it takes them to cook. Usually eggplant goes first. You can also make this with meat -- put the meat in before the vegetables.

* Eggplant salad. Grill or bake the eggplant until it's soft. Let cool, then chop and put in a bowl. Chop up onion and tomato and add to the eggplant. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and a little cayenne pepper. Serve as a dip with bread.

* This is a real delicacy -- it's a version of the imam bayildi mentioned earlier, a Turkish version. (Imam bayildi means "the imam fainted" -- possibly because the dish was so good.) Find a thin Asian style eggplant or two, a zucchini or two of about the same size, and some tomatoes of about the same diameter. Slice them all paper thin, or as thin as you possibly can (the tomato will have to be thicker than the others). Layer them around the edge of a round dish, spiraling them in to the center and overlapping the layers. (Kind of like you took a deck of cards and pushed it till you see the edges of all the cards). Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and possibly black and red/or pepper. Bake on very low temperature until tender. Eat with rice or bread.

* This dish uses small eggplants. It's a bit complex (and uses lots of oil) but it's well worth the effort and calories.
-Wash some small eggplants (maybe 8 or so, depending on their size), peel strips off them and cut one slit in each from near the top to near the bottom, without cutting all the way through to the other side. (You can leave the tops on -- makes them easier to fry). Salt the inside and outside to sweat so it doesn't absorb too much oil. Rinse them to get rid of excess salt, pat dry, and fry in oil, turning to brown all sides, until more or less softened.
-Slice an onion into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Saute them in olive oil till they start to get soft and remove them to a plate. Chop 1-2 large tomatoes, cook those in some oil until they start to soften too, and remove them to plate with onions.
-Then saute chopped onion (maybe 1/2 large onion) and minced garlic (a clove or two) till softened. Add 1 lb. ground beef, plus a tbsp. of tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. allspice and a little black and and red pepper, and saute more until meat is cooked.
-Spoon meat mixture into the slit in the eggplants to stuff the eggplants as full as you can without splitting them (they'll look kind of like bowls with meat in them), and place them in a baking dish. Put some of the sauteed onion slices and chopped tomato on top of each. Bake at 350 until the eggplants are completely soft.
- Serve with rice.

(Note: Turkish cuisine uses ground cayenne pepper in place of black pepper -- just a sprinkle to kick up the flavors but not make it spicy. You can leave it out, or use black pepper.)

Last edited by OneDahlia; September 25, 2011 at 09:29 PM.
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Old September 26, 2011   #33
lurley
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For okra, I just saw an iron chef stuff them with chicken(cooked and seasoned)and cheese, then bread them and fry them like a jalepeno popper... I gotta try that!


My kids like these "meatballs" with pizza sauce on the side for dipping. Don't skip the real pecorino, it adds great flavor, it you can find it get italian brand, locatelli is a good one.




Eggplant "meatballs"
(from My Calabria by Rosetta Costantino)

1 large eggplant, about 1 pound , unpeeled
kosher salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, more if needed
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
2T minced flat leaf parsely
1 garlic clove, minced
freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil for frying

Cut the eggplant in to 1 inch cubes. Bring 2 qt of water and 1 T salt to a boil in a 4qt pot over high heat and add the eggplant. Boil uncovered until eggplant is soft, about 10 mins. The cubes will want to float, so you will need to push them down into the water repeatedly with a spoon. Drain in a colander and let cool, then press on the eggplant with spoon to remove excess water. Finely chop by hand ( I put it in my food processor) In a bowl, combine
the eggplant, fresh breadcrumbs, cheese, parsely, and garlic. Blend gently with a fork, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the egg thoroughly. Fry a small piece and taste to check seasoning.
Working with a little of the mixture at a time, roll between your palms into small balls about 1 inch in diameter and set them on a tray. If the mixture is too moist to roll easily, stir in a few more fresh breadcrumbs. Roll each ball in the fine breadcrumbs to coat.
Pour olive oil into skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch. Don't skimp on the oil or the meatballs won't cook properly. When oil begins to shimmer, drop in a meatball, it should sizzle immediately, if not it's not hot enough yet.
Place half the meatballs in the pan, turning them gently with a slotted spoon, so as not to break them, until they are deep brown all over, about 3 minutes total. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel lined plate. Cool and serve. Attached Thumbnails
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Old October 4, 2011   #34
jgaleota
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Yum! One of my Italian aunts gave me a similar recipe long ago when I was a kid---except for the pecorino (she used cheddar). I MUST try it with the pecorino. Thanks for the recipe!

Judi
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Old October 4, 2011   #35
Keiththibodeaux
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Anyone ever tried Eggplant with scrambled eggs? Or spaghetti squash with scrambled eggs?
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Old October 4, 2011   #36
lurley
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No but I have used leftover plain spaghetti noodles mixed and cooked into scrambled eggs
And ratatouille (made with eggplant and all the other garden goodies) is great over scrambled eggs or as filling in an omlette.
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Old October 4, 2011   #37
Keiththibodeaux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurley View Post
No but I have used leftover plain spaghetti noodles mixed and cooked into scrambled eggs
And ratatouille (made with eggplant and all the other garden goodies) is great over scrambled eggs or as filling in an omlette.
Lurley, you are singing my tune.
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Old October 4, 2011   #38
Keiththibodeaux
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I did this one last week, and tried today. Talk about good, cher. http://flavorsofitaly.blogspot.com/2...melanzane.html

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Old October 4, 2011   #39
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Zana beat me to it.

I cook with okra egg plant onion roasted garlic sweet or hot peppers and tomatoes.

Put even amounts in a skillet with EVO and saute till they just cook a wee bit and serve with any meat dish you so desire.
Add a little sea salt and fresh black pepper and enjoy.
Put peppers and onions in first then the egg plant okra and then tomatoes and garlic last.

Real simple and fast.
OR you could just send it all to ME.
DO NOT make a mush out of it.
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Old October 12, 2011   #40
Zana
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Impossible Ratatouille Pie

Ingredients

1 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. chopped pared eggplant
1 c. chopped okra
1/2 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 med. clove garlic, crushed
1/4 c. margarine or butter
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. Bisquick baking mix
3 eggs

Directions
• Heat oven to 400 degrees.
• Lightly grease pie plate, 10 x 12 inches.
• Cook zucchini, eggplant, okra, tomato, green pepper, onion and garlic in margarine until crisp-tender.
• Stir in seasonings.
• Spread in pie plate; sprinkle with cheese.
• Beat remaining ingredients until smooth.
• 15 seconds in blender on high speed or 1 minute with hand beater.
• Pour into pie plate.
• Bake until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
• Let stand 5-10 minutes.
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Old October 21, 2011   #41
Zana
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Default Okra

Simply Fried Okra

This recipe for fried okra is about as simple as you can get. There is no batter and no cornmeal. The results is like a okra chip; crispy, full-on okra flavor, and very addicting.

Simply Fried Okra

Fresh okra, trimmed (I remove the stem end)

canola oil
salt

Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in a frying pan (I use a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat. If you have a thermometer, you are looking for a temperature of about 360 degrees.

Thinly slice okra lengthwise. You will get 4 - 8 slices per okra, depending on size.

Fry the okra in the hot oil in small batches until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from oil, drain, and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
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Old October 23, 2011   #42
Keiththibodeaux
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Default Okra Powder

Question for the chefs out there. I prefer my Okra in the 3 to 5 inch range for fresh cooking. After harvesting the ones that size, I still have an abundance of okra also in the 5 to 8 inch range, which gets too chewy for me. What about drying it in my dehydrator and grinding it to a powder to use as a thickener in future gumbos and the like, that same way File' is used as a thickener. Anybody tried it or have ideas about it?

Last edited by Keiththibodeaux; October 24, 2011 at 10:16 AM.
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Old October 24, 2011   #43
Zana
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I did that about 10 years ago. And really liked the results. My problem is that I went away for about 10 days on biz and came back to find that most of the crop had gotten too big for my tastes. So dehydrated them. Some I sealed up in vaccum sealed bags and stuck in the freezer and the rest went into dark jars. That way I could decant what I needed in small quantities, but the rest was out of bright light or frozen and kept really fresh for years. Think it took me about 5 to 6 years to work through all of it....probably had about 3kg total of it. Yummmmmmm....this year, I literally haven't gotten any fruit from the okra plants I grew. They grew to be about 3 ft high and were quite bushy...even set flowers at one point...but dropped all of them. Sighhhhhhh. Oh well...will try again next year.

Will be interested what anybody else has to say about this idea.
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Old October 26, 2011   #44
Keiththibodeaux
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After 24 hours of dehydration, and Okra drier than paper, I now possess Okra powder. The smell is awesome. I can't wait to try it.
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Old January 18, 2012   #45
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Oh I love that recipe Keith! My family has made it for generations. I use dried herbs and boil the eggplants with garlic ( I julienne them very very fine) and remove the garlic so it will keep well. My mom and grandmother always kept them in the cabinet, but I refrigerate and use as an eggplant appetizer on toasted french/italian slices. YUMMY!

One of my favorite eggplant dishes is to salt and press the slices (removing much of the water by putting layers of paper toweling and a heavy cast iron pan over another cookie sheet above the original.). Then once drained, I mix some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic, parsley and oregano in a bottle , put it all in a heavy duty zip baggie, and let it marinate overnight. Next day I put the drained slices on the grill and eat with whatever else I'm cooking on the grill. Awesome!
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