I’m baaaack! There has not been time yet to catch up on all the ATiM posts and comments, but at a glance you certainly had some interesting discussions that I very much look forward to reading more thoroughly. Thanks to all of you for that gift.
Mexico was fabulous, although I only got out of the resort for one excursion so unfortunately don’t feel like I experienced any of the local culture. The food at the resort was plentiful but IMHO so-so in quality, with a few notable seafood exceptions, and obviously off-the-charts in sodium content. So I’m happy to get back to my regular low-sodium diet, and this recipe is both quite healthy and very low sodium (fairly rare on both counts for a “comfort food”).
While shopping today at my local farmers market, I was overwhelmed by the gorgeous and inexpensive produce. I wanted everything, so it took some self-discipline not to buy too much. The local okra is coming in plentifully, and it inspired me to make one of my favorite southern-style comfort foods. I love okra. If this summer is as hot as last summer, I’m sure it will be another bumper crop. I grew up eating a version of this (proportionately much more chicken) served over grits, but it’s just as good or better served over rice. The original recipe (for the below, not for what I grew up eating) calls for twice the amount of chicken and half the amount of okra I’ve included below, but my modification lowers the calorie and fat content significantly. If you are not particularly fond of okra, you probably would still like this in the original proportions or you could substitute squash or another veggie for the okra. I hope you’ll give it a try.
FB, this is another “one-pot” meal (except for the grits or rice), but I have no idea if your boys will eat okra, especially considering the texture issues many people have with okra. And it takes at most 30 minutes to prep and cook.
CHICKEN WITH OKRA AND TOMATOES
Makes 2 servings, 1 ½ cups each
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably no salt added
2 cups fresh or frozen sliced or chopped okra
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and corn and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and softened, about 4 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 2 minutes. (The chicken just needs to be browned, not cooked through because it will be cooked later.) Add garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and okra. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add pepper and salt.
Per serving: 175 Calories; 4 g Fat (1 g Sat); 33 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates (8 g Sugar, 6 g Fiber); 13 g Protein; 173 mg Sodium
P.S. I STILL l.o.v.e the Thunder. They had a great year.
Old Fashioned Sweet Cherry Conserves
From The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition
Makes enough for about eight 1/2-pint jars
- Wash and cut 2 oranges into very thin slices, discarding any seeds.
- Barely cover with water in a large saucepan, about 1/4 cup, and cook until very tender.
- Wash, stem, pit (see Note below) and add 1 quart cherries.
- Add 6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, 3 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 6 wholes cloves tied in a cheesecloth bag.
- Simmer the conserves, stirring frequently until thick and clear.
- Discard the spice bag and ladle the hot conserves into hot 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headroom. Process for 15 minutes.
Note: To pit the cherries, I treat them like olives. First put on an old t-shirt (one that you use for painting would work well), then take the cherries, a chef’s knife, and a cutting board outside to an area that will clean up easily (a pool deck is probably perfect). Using the flat side of the blade, whack a couple of cherries at a time and remove the pit(s). Once all of the cherries are pitted, go back inside and finish the conserves.