Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Chèvre and Roasted Tomatoes

I wonder if I somehow have southern blood running through my veins. I love okra, sweet potatoes, collard greens, southern green beans, cornbread and lots of other southern specialties. This recipe is a lovely combination of several of those specialties, and doesn’t it just look spectacular?? Thanks to Annie’s Eats for the fabulous recipe!

Yield: about 14 cakes

Ingredients

For the roasted tomatoes:
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Generous drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Generous pinch of sugar

For the corn cakes:
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1½ cups water, plus more as needed
8 oz. okra, stems trimmed and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup canola oil, for frying

To serve:
About 3 oz. herbed goat cheese
Fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • To make the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and toss well to coat.  Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  If not using immediately, refrigerate until needed.
  • To make the corn cakes, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend and set aside.  Combine the egg and water in a liquid measuring cup and whisk lightly.  Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the cornmeal mixture, and stir just until combined.  Fold in the okra, jalapeño, and garlic until incorporated.  The mixture may seem a bit watery at first, but give it a minute for the cornmeal to soak up the liquid.  If the mixture is too dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
  • To cook the corn cakes, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very warm.  Drop in scoops of the dough mixture, about a scant ¼ cup each, spaced an inch or two apart.  Cook, flipping once during cooking, until both sides are lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer the finished cakes to a paper towel-lined rack and repeat with the remaining dough mixture.
  • To serve, place a small dollop of the herbed chèvre on top of each warmed corn cake.  Let it sit for a minute or two to melt slightly, then spread gently over the top of the corn cake.  Top each cake with a few of the roasted tomatoes and garnish with fresh herbs as desired.  Serve immediately.
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Eggplant, Potato and Meat-of-your-choice Masala

Ok, so this started out as a vegetarian entree, and I love it that way, but you can also insert your meat of choice and make it a higher-protein meal, as well. I could not avoid using as many of our ripe vegetables as possible. And this is a great opportunity for me to share some very colorful food pictures:) If you look closely, yes, there is goat cheese in there!

 

Could this dish be more colorful and savory??

 

 

Ingredients

2 potatoes, either white or sweet (I used sweet), peeled and cubed

2 eggplants, peeled and cubed

1 onion, coarsely minced

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 Tbsp fenugreek powder

2 Tbsp dried or fresh dill weed, chopped

1 tsp red chili powder

2-3 cloves chopped garlic

3-4 green chilis(adjust according to desired spiciness — 1 chili is fairly mild, 4 chilis is pretty hot and spicy!)

1 tsp salt

1 small can coconut milk (5.5 ounces)

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

If desired, 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb, or cooked sausage cut into chunks

Directions

Fry onion in 1 Tbsp hot olive oil for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, salt, chili powder, ground meat if desired, and 1/4 Cup water, fry well.

Add potatoes, chunks of sausage if desired and eggplant with 1/2 to 1 Cup water, cover and cook until potatoes are tender.

Add fenugreek, dill, green chilis, goat cheese, and any additional tender vegetables you wish. I added 6 chopped okra at this point. Drizzle coconut milk over the mixture and blend with spoon.

 

This recipe makes its own sauce, and is a full meal in one dish

 

 

Fry 3 more minutes, then serve.