Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grilled Okra

Grilled Okra? What? You've got to be kidding! How have I managed to live in the South for almost 40 years and never hear of this until recently? Andy and I were at the river one weekend and our neighbors, Don and Debbie let us in their little secret of grilling okra. Well, you know we were all over it as soon as we started getting fresh okra out of the garden. I even by-passed fixing a big plate of fried okra to try this out. Since then, we have fixed it three times. The first time we seasoned it with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and the next two times I chose Lawry's Garlic Salt with Parsley Flakes. You can't go wrong with either and I will be experimenting with a few other seasonings soon. But, being the one-trick pony I am, if I like it, why change? And for those of you who avoid okra because of the slime, you won't find that here. (The picture above has olive oil in it by the way--not slime.)
The first two times, I used a single skewer. The third time I opted for a double skewer. Why? For ease when turning. Every once in a while you'll get one or two that are set on flipping the wrong way and this did help. Put your cleaned okra on skewers. I had mine fairly tight. Brush and season both sides with olive oil and the seasoning of your choice.
 Get your grill up to around 400-450 degrees and set the skewers on it.
 Close the lid and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Flip and do the same to the other side. And that's all there is to it. Just pop the end in your mouth, bite the stem off and pitch it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pork Dumplings

Saturday I baked a Boston butt while we were out fishing. I'm talking low and slow...all day long. When we returned to the cabin, I had a deep aluminum pan full of glorious broth, which I poured up and saved. We  had quite a bit of the shredded pork left over so we knew pork dumplings would be on the menu one night this week. There are no specific quantities to add, it just depends on the broth quantity.
Put your broth in a large pot and slowly bring it to a boil. While it's heating up, prepare your dumplings. For quick and easy, just use flour tortillas and cut them into the size dumplings you want. We used 6 of the large ones.
Once the broth is rolling, drop in tortilla strips a few at a time. Carefully stir them around so they don't stick. Once all the strips are in the pot, turn the heat down to medium. Carefully stir in the amount of meat you want. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes or so and the dumplings will plump up nicely. Taste the broth to determine if you need additional seasoning. This pot didn't as the broth was pretty rich already. If you aren't satisfied with the broth, mix a little corn starch with some cold water to thicken it up.

Andy grilled some garlic bread and it was perfect. Typically we will fix some hoe cakes, but this was a nice change.