Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sauteed Shrimp and Okra


I wasn't sure if all the children would eat this (I'm looking at you, Rachel), but they did.  Moreover, they requested that it be added to the "repeat" list.  They particularly liked the ginger taste.  So, we have a winner here! 

Sautéed Shrimp and Okra
Serves 4-6

From BJ Dennis, freelance chef
Charleston, South Carolina
Garden and Gun Magazine


Vegetable oil
1½ lbs. chopped okra
1 lb. peeled shrimp
2–3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced chile pepper
1 tsp. minced ginger
½ cup diced onion
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Minced parsley, to taste
Minced thyme, to taste
1 cup diced tomato


Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Add okra and cook until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. (If okra starts to stick, add more oil.) Then add the next 5 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Next, add herbs and tomato, including seeds and juice, to the skillet. Cook until shrimp is ready, 2 to 3 minutes more. If desired, add more salt and pepper before serving.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I spent two summers traveling around Spain in the footsteps of the conquistadors.  I wanted to learn and write about them, to understand what would make men leave their homes in search for, what, I'm not sure. They created terrible death through their conquest of America, but I could find few of their grave sites in Spain. Many of them didn't even make it back. They died in their land of conquest. Piazzaro was even killed by his own men. I have some Choctaw blood, and I loved learning about the men who did so much to destroy my ancestors, and so little to save themselves. I haven't finished the book, In the Footsteps of the Conquistadors, but I will. Someday. 

As I traveled, I learned much about Spanish food, but one of my favorite dishes is also one of the most simple to make: gazpacho. Served fresh and cold before nearly every lunch, I am convinced it's one of the reasons the Spanish are all so healthy. That, and the two hour afternoon siesta.

Spain has five regions, and each of them has their own style of gazpacho, and even within those regions, you will find tons of variations. The one I am providing here is the one I found around Madrid, where I spent a good bit of my first summer. It's simple, but every time I eat it, I think of Spain.


a big glug of olive oil
5 coarsely chopped tomatoes
2 coarsely chopped red peppers
2 peeled and chopped cucumbers
teaspoon or so of salt
5 cloves peeled garlic


usual chopping things

Step 1:  Pour olive oil in blender
Step 2:  Add tomatoes.  Blend.
Step 3:  Then add in then cucumber, pepper, salt, and garlic.  Blend.
Step 4:  Once smooth, run mixture through a trainer.
Step 5:  Put in fridge for a few hours until icy cold.

Serve with good, thick bread with a crust.  Tear off pieces of the bread to drop into the soup as you eat, if you like that kind of thing.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mama's Fried Cream Corn (

This is one of my husband's go-to recipes for special occasions.  It's so good, it's almost like a treat!


12 ears of fresh corn, shucked
4 slices thick slab bacon
1/2 stick butter
Freshly ground black bread


Remove corn from cobs by using a corn grater or knife, and mash the whole kernels a little. Slice bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook bacon until brown in large skillet. Remove bacon from skillet and add 1/2 a stick of butter to the bacon grease. Over medium-high