Kitchen Hints of the Day!

February 17, 2016 at 6:29 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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When making Gumbo, Okra is a key ingredient. Here’s some keeper hints on Okra…..

 
* Okra is in season all year, best supplies from May – October

* When buying okra, you want to look for bright green okra with the skin unblemished. The okra should feel firm but not hard.

* There are several varieties of okra – some grow long while others grow short. Some are purple and others green. The guide remains the same when selecting okra.

* Okra can be stored in the refrigerator in paper bags in the vegetable compartment. When you are ready to prepare the okra for cooking, remove it from the fridge and bring it up to room temperature first. Pat the okra dry before cutting/slicing. By bringing the okra to room temperature before cooking aids in less moisture yielding when cooked.

Shrimp and Smoked Turkey Sausage Gumbo with Rice w/ Cornbread Ears

December 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM | Posted in Butterball Smoked Turkey Sausage, shrimp, Zatarain's | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Shrimp and Smoked Turkey Sausage Gumbo with Rice w/ Cornbread Ears

 

Zatarains Gumbo and Rice 002

 

Oh another bout of snow and another bout of the Phantom Pains throughout the night, I’d rather deal with the snow instead of Phantom Pains! We got another 2-3 inches over the night, this one was a powdery snow unlike the last one which was a wet and heavier snow. Dealt with the phantom pains throughout the night again last night, not real bad ones just enough to annoy me! One of the neighbors had brought my morning paper up and laid it by the door for me, thank you! Brewed a cup of hot Green Tea, Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. I had some Turkey Chili leftover from dinner the other night and made a Chili and Cheese Omlett with some toast for breakfast, and a good start to the day! For dinner tonight it was Shrimp and Smoked Turkey Sausage Gumbo with Rice w/ Cornbread Ears.

 

Zatarains Gumbo and Rice 001

 

I used a box of Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix with Rice for the Gumbo base. I think I had used this once before. Very easy to prepare, takes about 25-30 minutes. I just boiled the stock that was in the packet, Jalapeno Slices, sliced Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage, and a few shakes of the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for 15 minutes. Then I added the Extra Large Shrimp and simmered another 10 minutes. Said and done the Gumbo is ready! It turned out fantastic! Nice flavor and plenty of Rice, makes a nice hearty dinner. I also made some Cornbread Ears. It’s normal baked Cornbread but in a cast iron baking mold in the shape of Ears of Corn. I used Martha White Corn Meal Mix. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding.

 

 

 

Zatarain's Gumbo Mix with Rice
Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix with Rice
Gumbo is a savory Cajun or Creole stew served with or over rice. Just add one pound of seafood (shrimp, crabs, or crawfish) or meat (chicken and sausage are very popular) for nine cups of delicious gumbo in about 30 minutes with one pot preparation.

 

Directions
Easy Stove Top: Gumbo can be prepared with your choice of 1 pound of chicken (pre-cooked), smoked sausage or seafood cut into bite-size pieces. 1. In a 3 quart saucepan, combine 6 cups water, meat and Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix. Stir and bring to a boil. 2. Stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer over Low heat for 25 minutes. For Seafood Gumbo: Combine 6 cups water and Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix, bring to a boil. Add seafood after 10 minutes of cooking time, return to boil and cook 15 minutes.

Microwave: 1. In a 3 quart microwave-safe bowl, combine 6 cups of cold water and Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix. 2. For Chicken or Sausage Gumbo: Add 1 pound meat, cover and cook on High for 30 minutes (cook time may differ on the power of the microwave oven.), stirring occasionally. For Seafood Gumbo: Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes (cook time may differ on the power of the microwave oven.). 3. Let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving. Serving Suggestions: Sausage and chicken make an excellent, popular gumbo. Seafood gumbo is best with shrimp, oysters and crab. Okra, corn or celery make excellent vegetable additions.

 

 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp. (22g) = 1 cup prepared

Servings Per Container: About 9
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories: 70
Calories from Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0g 0%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 690mg 29%
Total Carb: 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber: <1g 4%
Sugar: 0g
Protein: 2%
Vitamin A: 6%
Vitamin C: 8%
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 4%
Organic: 4%

 

 

 

Martha White

White Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix. Self Rising White Enriched with Hot Rize®

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 Tbsp (31g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 440mg18%
Total Carbohydrate 22g7%
Dietary Fiber 2g6%
Protein 2g
Calcium2% Iron6% Thiamin10% Riboflavin6% Niacin6% Folic Acid15%

Fall Harvest; Okra

October 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Posted in vegetables | 3 Comments
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Okra plant, with mature, and developing fruits

Okra plant, with mature, and developing fruits

 

Okra (early fall) needs heat to grow, so a nice long, hot summer in warmer climates brings out its best. Look for firm, plump pods in late summer and early fall.

 

Okra (US /ˈoʊkrə/ or UK /ˈɒkrə/; Abelmoschus esculentus Moench), known in many English-speaking countries as lady’s fingers, bhindi or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

 

 

Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. Okra is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.
Greenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from okra seeds; it has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid. The oil content of some varieties of the seed can be quite high, about 40%. Oil yields from okra crops are also high. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial. A 1920 study found that a sample contained 15% oil. A 2009 study found okra oil suitable for use as a biofuel.

 

 

Okra sliced

Okra sliced

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains a usable form of soluble fiber. Some people cook okra this way, others prefer to minimize sliminess; keeping the pods intact, and brief cooking, for example stir-frying, help to achieve this. Cooking with acidic ingredients such as a few drops of lemon juice, tomatoes, or vinegar may help. Alternatively, the pods can be sliced thinly and cooked for a long time so the mucilage dissolves, as in gumbo. The cooked leaves can also be used as a powerful soup thickener. The immature pods may also be pickled.
In Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Albania, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Yemen, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, including Palestine, Cyprus and Israel, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Bosnia and most of West Asia, okra is known as bamia or bamya. West Asian cuisine usually uses young okra pods, usually cooked whole. In India, the harvesting is done at a later stage, when the pods and seeds are larger.

 

 

Okra (roasted with margarine)

Okra (roasted with margarine)

It is popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, where chopped pieces are stir-fried with spices, pickled, salted or added to gravy-based preparations such as bhindi ghosht and sambar. It is also simmered in coconut based curries or tossed with ground mustard seeds. In India, it is also used in curries. In curries, okra is used whole, trimmed only of excess stalk and keeping the hard conical top, which is discarded at the time of eating. In South India, Okra is cut into small circular pieces about 1/4 inch thick and stick fried in oil with salt and hot pepper powder to make delicious curry. However, when used in sambar it is cut into pieces which are 1 inch thick to prevent it from dissolving when the sambar is let to simmer.
In Malaysia okra is commonly a part of yong tau foo cuisine, typically stuffed with processed fish paste (surimi) and boiled with a selection of vegetables and tofu, and served in a soup with noodles.
In Malawi it is preferred cooked and stirred with sodium bicarbonate to make it more slimy. It is then commonly eaten with nsima (pap) made from raw maize flour or maize husks flour.
In the Caribbean islands, okra is eaten in soup. In Curaçao the soup is known as jambo which primarily is made out of the okra’s mucilage. It is often prepared with fish and funchi, a dish made out of cornmeal and boiling water. In Haiti, it is cooked with rice and maize, and also used as a sauce for meat. In Cuba, it is called quimbombó, along with a stew using okra as its primary ingredient.
It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 19th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi, or as tempura.

 

 
In the Philippines, okra can be found among traditional dishes like pinakbet, dinengdeng, and sinigang. Because of its mild taste and ubiquity, okra can also be cooked adobo-style, or served steamed or boiled in a salad with tomatoes, onion and bagoong.
Okra forms part of several regional “signature” dishes. Frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) is a Brazilian dish especially famous in the region of Minas Gerais, and it is the main ingredient of caruru, a bahian food with dende oil. Gumbo, a hearty stew whose key ingredient is okra, is found throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States and in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Deep- or shallow-fried okra coated with cornmeal, flour, etc. is widely eaten in the southern United States. Okra is also an ingredient expected in callaloo, a Caribbean dish and the national dish of Trinidad and Tobago. It is also a part of the national dish of Barbados coucou (turned cornmeal). Okra is also eaten in Nigeria, where draw soup is a popular dish, often eaten with garri or cassava. In Vietnam, okra is the important ingredient in the dish canh chua. Okra slices can also be added to ratatouille.
Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions. Since the entire plant is edible, the leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. When importation of coffee was disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette said “An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation of fifty negroes with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio.”

 

 

 

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