The past year was filled with ridiculous amounts of wedding planning (fyi - the day was perfect in every way), lots of weekend trips to NC, and way too much commuting in and out of New York every day. It completely wiped me out and left me without much to offer in the kitchen besides the occasional weekend dinner party or special event. The year was absolutely worth it, but I am thankful to have this time with Sam in the south to spend cycling, cooking, going to farmers markets, and generally enjoying our first year of marriage.
As I pick up my blog, you'll see A LOT of recipes that are built around the fresh produce and meats we're able to find at the many year-round farmers markets that surround us. I just cannot resist the buckets of potatoes, lettuces, peppers, basil, and every kind of tomato you can imagine. But what I was really excited about this past weekend was the okra. Every booth we visited had big, gorgeous, green okra and although I've never cooked with it, I had to try. I've had fried okra before (amazing!) and I figured there must be something I could do with it. On the ride home I looked up a few recipes which mostly involved jumbalya (delicious, but not in 85 degree weather). In the end, I decided on a simplified okra corn fritter and paired it with our go-to roasted tomato caprese salad from the gals over at Food52.com and a simple green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette which really let the fresh lettuce shine. Not a bad way to start the week!
**Tip: I warmed up the leftover fritters and topped them with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, salt & pepper, and a little balsamic vinegar for a tasty lunch!
Okra Corn Fritters
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup 2 % (or whole) milk
½ an onion, diced
6-8 medium sized okra, sliced 1/8 inch thick
salt & pepper
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, milk, egg, salt & pepper. The consistency should be that of very wet dough, not runny and not dry. Add the diced onion and okra and mix just to combine. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat enough oil to come a ¼ of the way up the frying pan. Drop the dough into the oil and fry on each side until well-browned and cooked through. Should yield 6-7 fritters.
Mozzarella and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad
From Food52.com Serves 4
- 2 cups small yellow and red cherry tomatoes, rinsed
- 4 small garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarse, flaky salt
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Handful small basil leaves (or torn basil leaves)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add the garlic cloves. Sprinkle over the olive oil and season with salt. Roast the tomatoes until they begin to wrinkle and caramelize, and their juices release into the oil, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cut the mozzarella into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange, overlapping slightly, on a platter. Spoon the tomatoes and -- most importantly -- their juices and the oil, over the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Drop the basil leaves on top.