CSA

Crispy Okra Salad

Crispy Okra Salad

I believe people who say they don’t like okra. I just don’t think they’ve tried very hard. Case in point: this salad. Thin, crunchy fried strips of okra and onion tossed with good garam masala and a fresh tomato hits flavor receptors all over the mouth. A crunch! A tang! A spice! A sting! It’s not Southern cooking for company–slicing okra into strips for more than 4 people would be a pain. But for the home team, it’s a thrilling taste of high summer like you’ve never known. Crispy Okra Salad 2015-08-18 20:48:04 Serves 4 I fry the onions; the original recipe kept them raw. Fried is better. Isn't it always? Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 10 min Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 10 min Ingredients 1 pound young okra, halved lengthwise, cut into long, thin strips Vegetable oil for frying Kosher salt 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup) 1 medium tomato, cored, deseeded and sliced into thin strips 11/2 teaspoons garam masala Salt to taste 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice Instructions Heat 1 inch of oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees. Fry the okra (and optionally, the onion) in three batches, stirring a few times, for about 4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towels. (Which I never use--I use brown paper bags.) Sprinkle with the garam masala and salt. Toss the okra, onion, tomato, cilantro and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with more garam masala and salt. By Suvir Saran, Devi and Veda restaurants Adapted from Food and Wine magazine Adapted from Food and Wine magazine The Project Kitchen...

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Butterscotch Bread

Butterscotch Bread

Let’s be honest: the last couple of squash in the vegetable drawer are looking a little forlorn right now. Turn them into quick bread greatness that’s excellent with coffee or milk, and freezes well for that bake sale or unexpected company. Obviously it’s not health food, but it gets a much better reception than a squash side dish. (Pro tip: peel the squash, especially zucchini, if your crew is super-observant. And definitely scoop the seeds out over overgrown, late-season squash) Butterscotch Bread 2014-10-23 11:30:18 Yields 2 Yellow squash or zucchini, well hidden in a quick bread. Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 3 eggs 1 cup cooking oil 1 cup sugar 2 cups grated yellow squash or zucchini 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour (all-purpose, white wheat, whole wheat) 1/2 cup oats 1 (3-ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon Instructions Beat the eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl until light in color and somewhat thickened. Stir in the squash and vanilla. Combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add to the squash mixture; mix until no white streaks of flour remain. Spoon the mixture into two greased 8-inch loaf pans or a single 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; remove and cool completely. Makes 2 loaves or 1 cake. Notes Freezes well. A lemon-juice-butter-confectioners sugar glaze is nice. The Project Kitchen...

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“Frenching” Green Beans

“Frenching” Green Beans

The later the season, the likelier it is that green beans are tougher. It’s as if their little reproductive systems shout,”Right! Forget the tender pod and kick the seed production into high gear!” As a result, the tender little sauteed beans of the early season give way to slow-cooked with sweet onion and tomato, or ham hock. You could be having those tender little beans still, with about 3 minutes of knife work. I learned about “frenching” beans when I grew a series of square-foot gardens while writing The All-New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook (Cool Springs Press, 2010). Those tough, late season Kentucky Wonder beans: I “studied on them,” as they say out in the country, and discovered that the tough part is the “seam.” Cut it out and you’ve got a tender pod that can be cooked like a haricot vert, more or less. Even when the beans get fairly large, cutting the whole pod into strips, or “frenching” it, yields green beanlets that can be tenderized by boiling a couple of minutes. Then you can serve them with lemon and butter, chill them for a salad, or saute them with garlic, ginger, bacon, thyme, or however you like them. It seemed like frenching might be the right thing for the tough-ish broad, flat beans from an August CSA delivery. Because they’re flat, they’re even easier to cut into strips. I can practically hear you thinking, “Slicing beans into strips–ain’t nobody got time for that.” So I timed it. That serving of beans pictured at the top of the post took exactly 1 minute to slice with a santoku knife. I wasn’t hurrying–don’t rush when you’re slicing anything. Just 1 minute produced enough beans for one person. The whole colander full took about 5 minutes. TO do it, first try stringing the bean. Snap off the stem and try to “unzip” it. Next, bite it–if the seam is too tough to chew, it’s a good candidate for frenching. Use a small sharp knife to pare off the seam. At that point, try cooking it. If it’s still a little too tough, with your next batch, after cutting out the seam, slice the beans. To do this, hold the bean more or less straight and slice it longwise or on a slight diagonal. Cut any leftover curved ends into a couple of slivers. I used the most recent batch in place of long beans in dry-fried pork and long beans from Every Grain of...

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Hello, I’m Nicki

I've written about food for a living since The Silver Palate was new. Discovering a new cookbook or technique is my idea of fun. And kitchen gear--I'm helpless to resist. Like kitchen projects, the posts here are occasional and open-ended, so please subscribe. You can read more about my work at the "About Nicki" page.

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