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roasted okra

Originally uploaded by ted_major

This is a tasty and easy way to cook okra that has a similar flavor profile to fried okra (crunchy & browned, not slimy), only easier.

Preheat oven to 425F (use convection if you have it)

Take a bunch of okra (small ones work best) and wash & slice off the stems. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Roast for 20 mins at 425F, and stir them up at 10 mins or so.


OK, so it’s not really ice cream, not having cream, but it’s the easiest ice cream you’ll ever make: there’s only one ingredient. This is a great way to use those slightly over-ripe brown bananas if you don’t feel like making banana bread. When the bananas get too brown throw them in the freezer, and once you have 3 or 4 stocked up, it’s time to make ice cream.

Take a few frozen bananas, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the peels. Break them into a few chunks, put them in a food processor, and process until smooth. You’ll have a frozen banana puree with the consistency of homemade ice cream. If you like, you can add a bit of honey, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Would would be good, as my dear wife points out, is to mix in some chocolate chips once you’re done pureeing, or maybe some chocolate sauce, or maybe even both.

sweet potato biscuits

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Inspired by Granny Hester, I’ve been working on a sweet potato biscuit recipe.

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, coarsely mashed
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 Tbs), softened
  • milk, 1 Tbs at a time

Preheat oven to 425F (use convection if you have it)

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl, then in a large measuring cup mix butter and sweet potato. Stir sweet potato mixture into flour mix and then add milk 1 Tbs at a time until you have a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a couple of times to mix, then pat out into a 3/8″ thick rectangle. Cut into 12 square biscuits. (Use a round biscuit cutter if you like, but cutting into squares means no wastage and no re-rolling of the dough.)

Bake 10 mins or until golden brown.

heirloom tomato tart

Originally uploaded by ted_major

This tart was beautiful, tasty, but unfortunately impossible to serve. The tart crust is too crumbly to cut into slices, so when we tried to cut it for serving, it crumbled into pieces. I think it might work better if you rolled out the dough and cut it into individual rounds (parmesan pastry cookies?) and topped each with a slice of tomato, slice of cheese, and drizzle of pesto to make individual tartlets.

For pepper parmesan pastry
1 1/4 cups flour
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbs cold shortening
2 Tbs freshly grated parmesan
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 to 4 Tbs ice water

For filling
3/4 ln fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pesto
2 lb tomatoes

Blend together flour, butter, shortening, parmesan, pepper, and salt in a bowl with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 2 Tbs water and stir until incorporated. If a small handful won’t hold together without crumbling, add more water, 1 Tbs ata atime until it will hold together.

Turn dough onto work surface and divide into two portions, and knead once to distribute fat. Gather back into one ball and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour until firm.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out dough into a 12-inch round. Wrap it around the rolling pin to lift onto a 9-inch tart pan and trim edges to fit. Lightly prick it all over with a fork.

Line shell with foil and fill with rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and rice and bake 15 minutes more, until golden. Cool in pan on a rack.

Arrange half the tomato slices in the shell, then half the cheese, and drizzle with half the pesto. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes, cheese, and pesto.

gazpacho & focaccia

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Adapted from Jane Butel’s Tex-Mex Cookbook:

1 cup tomato juice
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium red onion, peeled & quartered
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped
1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded & quartered
1 red bell pepper, seeded & quartered
2 Tbs minced cilantro

Blend tomato juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt & onion in a blender for a few seconds.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. (Our blender got full before we could add all the ingredients, so I poured about half of it into a bowl, blended the rest of the ingredients, and mixed them together in the bowl.) Chill for at least an hour (but overnight is better) before serving.

Excellent served with rosemary & kalamata olive focaccia.


Originally uploaded by ted_major

A quick stir-fry with ingredients from our CSA share from Snow’s Bend Farm.

3/4 lb yard long beans, washed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 sweet red peppers, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch shiso, sliced
4 spicy Thai sausages, grilled and sliced
Oil for stir-frying

Heat wok or skillet, then add oil and garlic, onion, and carrots. Saute briefly, then add peppers. Cook for a minute or so more, then add beans and cooked sausage. When beans are done, stir in shiso and remove from heat. Serve over rice.

Just as necessity is the mother of invention, sometimes an empty fridge is the mother of inspiration. We’ve been out of town for a week, and after being home for 2 days, we haven’t made it to the grocery store, so the shelves were pretty bare. As a last-ditch attempt to avoid shopping, I pulled some goat cheese, pesto, and shrimp out of the freezer and came up with one of the finest meals we’ve had recently.

  • 5 oz log of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 3/4 lb pasta (we used girandole [big spirals], but anything short with some texture to hold the sauce would work)
  • salt & white pepper to taste
  • olive oil to sauté

Cook the pasta. While it cooks, sauté the shrimp in olive oil over medium heat and season with salt & freshly ground white pepper. When the shrimp is done, reduce the heat to low and add the pesto and goat cheese. Stir until the goat cheese is melted. Turn off the heat and toss in the pasta. Enjoy.