Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We went nuts over this Nutty Okra recipe

When almost everything else in the garden has bid us adieu, the okra rises to perform another day. Texas temps of 108 degrees don’t faze the proud okra plant. It thumbs its nose at the mega-hot weather and sings on.

Southern Living magazine again paid homage to Southerners’ devotion to okra and gave us one more okra idea that, to me, was a “must-try”. Nutty Okra intrigued because it involves adding 1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts. Never thought about this combination, but the magazine’s recipe punned that it was “anything but medi-okra!” What a hoot! It also recommends tossing the cut okra with salt (I used salt substitute) and letting it stand for 20 minutes. I didn’t have the prescribed peanut oil on hand and cooked the okra in canola oil; this didn’t seem to hurt the flavor, but I imagine using peanut oil for frying would make this taste even better.

The small bits of peanut pressed into the breading mixture represented a terrific, crunchy addition—yet another way to creatively present the summer’s luxuriant and thankfully drought-resistant okra, which never lets an abundance of heat stand in its way.

Nutty Okra

1 pound fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 egg white, lightly beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 cup all-purpose baking mix
1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon pepper
peanut oil

Toss okra with salt and let stand 20 minutes. Add egg white; stir to coat. In a large bowl stir together baking mix and next two ingredients. Add okra and toss to coat; gently press peanut mixture onto okra. Shake off excess. In a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet pour oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat to 375 degrees. Fry okra in batches 2 to 4 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels. Makes 4 servings.

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