Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kentucky Cookin’

I’m originally from a teeny tiny town in KY.  We have ZERO stoplights.  We don’t even have caution lights.  Now, there are lights at one of the railroad crossings.  Does that count?

Today in our CSA box, we finally got something I have been waiting and waiting for… OKRA!  Whoo hoo!  Who’d of thought, I’d be so excited about a slimy lil vegetable?  See, when I was growing up, occasionally my babysitter would take us to Po’Folks.  They served iced tea in Mason jars, but most importantly, fried okra.  Whenever I told my mom I liked fried okra she was shocked.  I don’t think I ever got her to make it for me, but I always ordered it at Cracker Barrel.  So today when we got it in our share, along with yellow squash, I immediately knew what I was having for dinner.  Fried okra & fried squash!  As I mentioned, my mother never made me fried okra, but she often made fried squash.  I don’t know what to do to make it as good as hers, but I sure do try.
Another thing I’ve been wanting to tackle was buttermilk biscuits.  I bought some buttermilk a week or so ago, and I keep inching closer to the sell by date.  Since I got out of work a couple hours early for a quick doctor’s follow up appointment, I had plenty of time to try out the biscuits as well.

First up, biscuits!  I’m not gonna give you the recipe, because I got it from a great blog.  Just go to the wonderful Homesick Texan’s blog to get the recipe for these TASTY biscuits.  I will say though, I don’t trust myself with all the biscuits, so I halved the recipe.  And I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 white flour.

My dry ingredients before adding in the butter.

They were really yummy, but I think I need more practice to get them fluffier!  This was my first biscuit attempt, EVER.

Next up, friend okra & squash.  I didn’t follow an exact recipe but here’s my ingredients.
hot sauce
yellow cornmeal

Cut the okra into little slices and soak in buttermilk for about 5 or more minutes.  Mine soaked 30 minutes.


Then I realized I didn’t have any cayenne for the breading, so I added hot sauce to the buttermilk to give it some hot flavor.  Next time I’ll add more.
Combine cornmeal, salt, pepper, (cayenne pepper if you have it) in a bowl.  Heat oil (I used canola) over Medium High heat until hot.  Once I started cooking I turned the heat down to Medium.  Transfer okra to the breading mixture (I just scooped them out of the wet bowl with one hand, a couple at a time) and toss in breading to coat.
Testing the temperature of the oil.

Fry in oil until golden brown.

Good stuff.  Honestly… you should try it at least once.
Just sprinkle some salt when you take em out of the oil.  Let cool & enjoy!  I did the same thing for the squash, I just didn’t get a picture.
Along with the biscuits, fried okra & fried squash I cooked chicken breast in the oven with barbecue sauce, just like my mom used to do.
AND FOR DESSERT… earlier in the summer I purchased some sorghum from my CSA.  I have great memories of being at my Grandma & Grandpas.  After dinner my granddad, Pop, would take his fork and smoosh butter on his plate with molasses or sorghum, and then spread it on a biscuit.  It’s been so long since I’ve had that.  That’s part of the reason I bought the sorghum.  So now that I made the biscuits I felt it was the perfect ending to my “Kentucky Memory Meal”.
Butter, meet sorghum.

I warmed it in the microwave.

Right before eating the very last crumb.
Each one of the things I ate for dinner today brought back a separate memory from home.  I hope you try at least one of these delicious bites at least once!

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