It’s raining and my mom’s coming to town…hmm, wonder what we will do for fun? Make SNACKS! I have buukuu okra that needs to be stewed into goodness, so I’m including here my favorite recipe for fried eggplant and okra—so southern. Then I recently read this article in Cooks Illustrated about the world’s most perfect oatmeal cookie, and I whole heartedly agree after testing in my kitchen. Also, there will be Scrabble.
Smothered Okra and Tomatoes
Adapted from Tony Chachere’s Cajun Country Cookbook
2 lbs okra, sliced
3 TB olive oil
1 TB flour
1 medium red onion, diced
½ green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 hot peppers, chopped
5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
Cajun seasoning, to taste (I like Uncle Larry’s with a little dash of Tony’s)
Stir fry the okra in 2 TB olive oil in a non-cast iron skillet, non-reactive skillet. Fry until lightly charred. In a different, cast-iron skillet, make a medium-dark roux with 1 TB olive oil, 1 TB flour. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, garlic and hot peppers and simmer until wilted. Add tomatoes and simmer for five more minutes. Add okra, season to taste with Cajun stuff, and cook for about one hour on low heat until very sauce-y. Serve on top of these delicious fried eggplants.
Adapted from Down-Home Cajun Cooking Favorites
4 medium eggs
3 small eggplants, sliced ¼ inch thick, salted and dried
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 TB garlic and/or onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
3 TB olive oil
In a mixing bowl beat eggs. Slice eggplants, rub with salt, let dry out on a rack for 30 minutes, wipe the fluid off with a towel and rinse.
Mix together flour and seasonings. Dip eggplant slices into egg, then roll in flour mixture, then panko crumbs and fry on a hot skillet until each side is golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and sprinkle with cheese.
And now for the cookies…
Also, I’ll include this photo of my latest favorite granola bar from Enjoy Life, which are nice for the allergic sort who can’t have soy or milk or gluten or any of the goodies. They are delicious, especially the carrot cake ones. And I don’t even like carrot cake.
The Best Oatmeal Cookie Ever
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
4 TB butter
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar sugar
½ cup olive oil
1 egg plus one egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup currants
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Melt butter in skillet until it is brown butter. Stir in cinnamon. Add all the sugars and oil to the butter and whisk. Then add egg and yolk and vanilla and whisk again. Then add flour/salt/baking soda mixture (pre-sifted). Then oats and currants. Should be a really stiff dough. Bake 8-10 minutes. YUM.
These are enough to send Izzy right past bliss into euphoric ennui.