Fish & Seafood, Savory

Blackened Tilapia with Crispy Okra

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When I saw fresh okra at the grocery store I knew I had to make this.  And what goes well with okra? Something “blackened” of course!!!  If you are not a fan of fish, you can rub the spices on the chicken and bake/grill chicken.  You could also pair this with baked chicken or fried chicken.  I personally love blackened fish, it reminds of my childhood, as does okra.  So, this meal is truly comfort food for me.

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Ingredients:

For the Okra:

2 cups chopped okra (medium-rounds)

3 Tbsp of cornmeal

3Tbsp of rice flour

1 tsp of salt

1tsp of chipotle chili (or any kind of chili powder)

1/2 tsp of cumin

5 Tbsp of oil

3 Tbsp of water

1 egg

For the blackened spice rub:

1tsp of each of the following

  • salt
  • black pepper
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder

For the fish:

1 Tbsp of oil

3-4 tilapia fillets

Method–For the Okra.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Chop okra and add to bowl.  MIx with cornmeal, rice flour, and spices.

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In a separate bowl, mix 3 Tbsp of oil, water, and 1 egg.  Beat thoroughly to mix and add the okra

Spread the mixture on a baking sheet or a cast-iron skillet and drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil.

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Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes.

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Method–For the Tilapia.

Mix the blackening spices with 1 Tbsp oil to create a paste.

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Pat dry the fish fillets and massage the spice paste on to the fillet.

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Arrange fish on a lined baking sheet, if you are using aluminum foil, you lightly spray the foil to prevent the fish from sticking.

Bake the fish for 20 minutes till flakey,

Serve with fish with okra and corn and enjoy!

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Savory, Sides

Oven Roasted Okra

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A side dish or snack—simple, healthy and pays tribute to fried okra.  I like it hot from the oven with some spicy salsa.

Ingredients:

1lb of fresh okra, diced (frozen does not crisp up well)

1 tbsp of water, cornmeal and white poppy seeds

2tbsp of oil

salt, pepper and chilli powder according to taste

spicy, chunky salsa for serving!

Method:

Chop the okra and put in a bowl.

 

Add water, cornmeal, poppy seeds and seasonings.  Toss to combine and coat.

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Coat a cast-iron skillet with oil and add the okra.

Roast for 20 mins at 400F.  Halfway through roasting, stir and toss the okra a little bit.

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Serve hot!

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Classics, Comfort food, Fish & Seafood, Meat, Poultry, Savory, Stew

Gumbo

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
8oz of frozen mixed peppers                                                                                                             2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
16 oz bag of frozen, sliced okra.
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (cooked)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine

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allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over rice.

 

Comfort food

Okra-for the homesick soul

This is a simple okra “curry” that was a staple growing up.  Okra was always available and this dish made a frequent appearance at both the lunch and dinner table.  So when I am homesick or craving my mom’s cooking I make this.  I hope you like this Indian style okra curry.

Ingredients:

16 oz frozen okra

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of black mustard seeds

1 medium onions thinly sliced

2 Tbsp of tomato paste (or 1 medium tomato chopped)

1/2 Tbsp of chilli powder, cumin and turmeric

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.

Next add the onions and saute till pale golden and then add tomato paste and spices.

Saute for about 5 mins and then add the okra.

Saute for another 5mins and add about 1/4 cup of water and let the curry simmer for about 20 mins till the sauce thickens.

Serve warm with plain white rice, lentils or handmade flatbread.