Category Archives: bacon

LOW CARB THURSDAY-OKRA CREOLE

Good morning!!! And I do mean morning.  It’s 4 a.m. as I’m writing this.  One of the joys of insomnia is that I can sit in the utter quiet of the early morning and contemplate the joys of okra.  Yep, you read that one right; I said okra.  I find that of all the vegetables,  okra is probably the most maligned of all vegetables.  It is also the one of which family fights are made.  I mean, no one is just “meh” regarding okra.  You either love it, or you want to shoot the person who put it on the table.  Now, I’m a versatile foodie. That’s a polite way of saying I’ll eat anything at least once, which could explain my dress size.  But Jorge?  Not so much.  So I really think he felt last night that he took one for the team by trying this recipe.  But he lived through it, and the beautiful thing about it is, he doesn’t know it yet, but some of the leftover okra made it into his lunch container for today.  ROFL!!!!!  Aaahhh…..I wish I could be a fly on the wall when he makes that discovery.  But, I disgress.  I am always on a quest to introduce new vegetables into our diet, as well as new ways of cooking vegetables.  We can only eat corn so many times a week, you know?  So, I decided to try this recipe, and I thought it was good.  Yeah, it was a little slimy as okra usually is, but the celery in the mixture kept it crunchy, so the trick is to always get a bite of celery with a bite of okra.  As a matter of fact, you might want to use a little more celery than I used to get a little more crunch.  But not too much, or you’ll be serving Celery Creole, which is just weird.
 
In case you’re wondering, Creole cuisine, which I think almost everyone knows originated in Louisiana, combines the influences of French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, African, and Native American cooking.  The main difference between Creole and the possibly more popular Cajun cooking is that Creole cuisine evolved more in the kitchens of the more affluent and the pre-Civil War plantations.  And, like so many other types of cooking, some of it is good, and some of it must have been a kitchen experiment gone bad.
 
Which brings us back to okra.  A lot of people, especially in the South, will eat okra if it has been breaded, battered, and deep-fried, but heck!  in the South, there are people who eat deep-fried Twinkies, so that means nothing.  I realize deep frying it hides some of the dreaded sliminess, but if you’re going to deep fry it, you might as well forget cooking at home and just go on down to the local McFast Food place and order a heart attack to go.  And we’re not doing that, are we?  And why not?  Because it’s Low Carb Thursday, that’s why!  Oh, and because we want to be healthy.  Yeah, that’s it.  We’re doing this for our health.  Keep telling yourself that.


LOW CARB THURSDAY-OKRA CREOLE
Author: 
Recipe type: Low-Carb
Serves: 6
 
PER SERVING: CALORIES: 67 PROTEIN: 3 g CARBOHYDRATES: 9 g
Ingredients
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 c frozen okra
  • 1 -14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 C water
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅛ tsp file powder
Instructions
  1. First, in your trusty cast iron skillet (the deep one) or better yet, your trusty cast iron Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy.
  2. Remove and let cool.
  3. Using the bacon grease left in the pan (if you're really afraid of the Health Police, pour it out and use vegetable oil; I used the bacon grease like the good Southern girl that I am), cook the onions and celery on medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the okra, tomatoes, water, red pepper, black pepper and bay leaf.
  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Crumble the bacon into the mixture and cover.
  7. Simmer 12-15 minutes.
  8. Stir in the file powder.


okra creole

MUSIC TO COOK BY

Until next time, Happy cooking!  :)

 

… cooking is just like religion. Rules don’t no more make a cook than sermons make a saint. ” – Unknown

 


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LOADED BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE & BOOK GIVEAWAYS

It’s Monday.  I don’t really want to talk about it.  Or about anything.  But, I’ve been a sick, lazy blogger lately and I have wallowed in the depths of despair long enough.  As the indomitable Scarlett O’hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”  Well, Scarlett, I’m declaring that today is tomorrow and it’s time to get up out of the radish patch, clench our fists, and declare, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be a silent blogger again.”   

 
 If you never saw the movie, you must think I’m nuts.  You may  think I’m a nut even if you did see the movie.  That’s okay.  If you ever meet me, you’ll feel justified.  In the meantime, get back into that kitchen, wash up your margarita glasses you used Saturday ( no, I did nothing for Cinco de  Mayo) and bake yo’ family a casserole full of love.  Love and cheese.  The two basic food groups.    
 
LOADED BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE
Recipe type: Casserole
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1-32 oz. bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 2 c frozen broccoli florets
  • 2-8 oz. tubs onions and chives cream cheese
  • 3 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, fried until crisp, and crumbled
  • 1 c green onions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place frozen hash browns in a medium-size bowl and cook in microwave 5 minutes.
  3. In a larger bowl, mix soups and cream cheese.
  4. Microwave 3 minutes, stir, and then microwave an additional 2 minutes until well blended.
  5. Stir in hash browns, broccoli, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar and stir until mixed well.
  6. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  7. Top with 2 c shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, and onions and bake, covered, 10 minutes.
 



loaded baked potato casserole


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MUSIC TO COOK BY

 
Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )
 
Just once, I would like to wake up, turn on the news, and hear…’Monday has been canceled, go back to sleep.’ - Unknown
 
 

SAUTEED ZUCCHINI & YELLOW SQUASH (SALTEADO DE CALABACINES Y CALABAZA AMARILLA)

A couple of days ago, Jorge brought home zucchini from one of the local farm markets.  For all the jokes that people make about the overabundance this vegetable every year, I suddenly realized how few times I’ve actually cooked zucchini.  I tried to do something different and Googled zucchini recipes, but who has the time to read all those?  There must be a bazillion of them out there.  So, I did one of my tried and true ideas.  It really isn’t that different from what I’ve done in the past, but hey!  it tasted good.  To me, at least.  Except for one thing:  I wasn’t in the mood to be healthy, so I used……..BACON GREASE!    Gasp!  Horror!  If it bothers you, use olive oil.  So, here it goes.
SAUTEED ZUCCHINI & YELLOW SQUASH (SALTEADO DE CALABACINES Y CALABAZA AMARILLA)
2 zucchini, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp GOYA® Recaito
GOYA® Adobo to taste
Using enough bacon grease to cover bottom of cast-iron skillet, heat Recaito on medium for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and onion; stir throroughly.  Add zucchini and squash; cook for minutes and continue to stir. Stir in tomato and Adobo.  Cook additional 5 minutes.


Upon reading this, I realized a couple of things.  I really use my cast-iron skillet a lot, and this recipe really calls for a lot of stirring, doesn’t it?  : )
MUSIC TO COOK BY
Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )


Only the mediocre are always at their best. - 

Jean GiraudouxFrench diplomat, dramatist, & novelist (1882 – 1944)

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SWEET AND SOUR GREEN BEANS

So, as I said in an earlier post, I have not been at my culinary best lately.  After the, I still hang my head in shame, deli pizza  we ate last week, I compounded the problem by deciding to have french fries Sunday evening.  Again with the convenience of frozen foods!  What is wrong with me?!?  But today was better.  Coca-cola BBQ Pork Chops, Asparagus Casserole, Chilled Vegetable Salad, and Blackberry Cobbler.  And I’ll post those later.  Today I want to finish up with the few good moments from last week by posting Sweet and Sour Green Beans.

SWEET AND SOUR GREEN BEANS
Adapted from Deep South Dish


1 lb. fresh whole green beans, topped and tailed
1 tsp kosher salt
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add 1 tsp salt and beans.  Boil one minute.  Drain and put beans in ice water.  Cook bacon to a crisp; crumble four slices, reserving two.  Add onion slices to bacon drippings and cook until caramelized.  Add the sugar and vinegar to the skillet; stir.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil; stir.  Add the chopped bacon.  Reduce heat; add drained green beans.  Toss gently.  Transfer the beans to a serving bowl; garnish with chopped bacon.  

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Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

Friendship is a single soul living in two bodies – Aristotle

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