Showing posts with label okra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label okra. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Screw the Roux Stew from Lucy Burdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Hayley Snow, the food critic character in DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, eats a lot of meals out in restaurants. So when she's at home on her houseboat, I imagine she prefers to cook home-style food that's not too fancy but still delicious. She cooks when she's hungry, she cooks when she's anxious, and she cooks when she wants to connect with friends. Or, for that matter, squeeze information from potential sources!

So far, most of the recipes in the back of my mysteries have come from my own kitchen. But I'm always on the look-out for something delicious that Hayley could borrow. Two years ago at a get-together with friends in Key West, we ate a fabulous meal--a sort of Creole stew crossed with a jambalaya. I just had to have the recipe and I've made it many times since. It feeds a crowd, especially when served over rice. All you might need on the side is a salad. The recipe is courtesy of Mary K Hyde, who did not like the concept of having to make an old-fashioned roux, but relished the results.

MK’s Screw the Roux Stew

*1 large onion, chopped
*2–3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 large green pepper, chopped (in this case I used several colors of pepper!)
*2 stalks celery, chopped
*½ cup flour
*1–1½ Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
*28-oz. can chopped tomatoes, with juice, or crushed tomatoes
*28-oz. box organic chicken broth
*Shredded meat from 1 rotisserie chicken or baked chicken
*10–14 oz. smoked chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
*12 oz. frozen chopped okra
*¾ lb. Key West pink shrimp if desired
*Brown rice, cooked

Sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft. (In the pictures above, I chopped fresh okra--but that's only because we grow it in our garden. A package of frozen okra works just fine. And don't get weirded out by the concept of okra--it's not the least bit slimy in this recipe, and it thickens the stew. And it's really really delicious...)

In a separate frying pan, toast the dry flour over medium-low heat until browned. Stir this almost constantly so it doesn’t burn. (This is the only tricky part of the recipe--you need to be a little patient. This step might take 15 minutes.)

When the flour is nicely brown, add the Creole seasoning. (Tony Chachere's is spicy--don't omit it, but cut back a little if you don't want that much "zip.")

Mix well and add this mixture to the sautéed vegetables in a large pot. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chicken, sausage, and okra. Bring to boiling and reduce to a simmer. The longer it simmers, the better. If you make it the day before and let sit in the fridge overnight, it will be just that much more delicious. Add shrimp just before serving, if desired, and cook a few minutes until pink. Serve the stew over rice. (My son-in-law said this was the best dish of mine he's eaten, and he likes everything!)

"Anyone who's ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy." Publishers Weekly on DEATH IN FOUR COURSES

While you're waiting for your happy guests to arrive, you can follow Lucy on twitter, "like" her on facebook, or order the books anywhere books are sold. For example, an independent bookstore, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble!

For lovers of both food and books, check out Novel Food--a marriage of two of my favorite things!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Ideas for Okra

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3] First of all, a big congratulations to my fellow mystery-loving cooks, Cleo and Sheila for their releases yesterday! Hope you’ll grab a copy of Cleo’s Murder by Mocha, the paperback edition of Roast Mortem, and Sheila’s Bitter Harvest. Can’t wait to read mine! Remember to enter Cleo’s contest: details here.

One thing about growing okra—you get to the point where you have okra coming out of your ears!

It grows like crazy in the South and before you know it, you’re trying to come up with new ways to enjoy it. It’s either that, or give it away (which is one option I’ve already taken. Popular with my neighbors, but I’d rather hang onto my okra!) :)

It’s just so good, though, that we’ll keep on growing it each summer. And here’s a skillet recipe for preparing it that’s an adaptation of an old Cajun dish, Maque Choux. The nice thing about this recipe is that you’re also taking advantage of the fresh corn that’s available right now. You could also add other ingredients to this dish, like onion and garlic. And…it’s super-simple to make.


Corn and Okra Sauté

1/4 pound sliced Jalapeno Cheese sausage (available at the store)
3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup sliced okra

Place sliced sausage in a skillet and brown (3-4 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients and sauté about 10 minutes.


Got any more ideas for cooking okra? Please share! :)

Delicious and Suspicious (Riley Adams)
Finger Lickin’ Dead—June 7 (book 2 of the Memphis BBQ series!) It’s here!
Download it on Kindle:
Mass market paperback:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finger Lickin’ Dead Giveaway Results and Some Fried Okra


First up, I wanted to thank everyone for entering my Finger Lickin’ Dead giveaway. There was a great response to the contest. The randomly picked winner was Darlene Peterson. Congratulations!

Thanks everyone! I wish you all could have won. Hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of the book:

Download the book on Kindle:
Mass market paperback:

Fried Okra

I may lose some of y’all today! I think that okra is one of those things, like grits, that make people wonder about folks in the southern US.

But okra is what’s growing in everyone’s gardens down here. It will absolutely grow like wild. It loves the heat, it loves our crazy soil, it just enjoys the South.

And, if you fry it, it’s heavenly with some corn on the cob and some sliced tomatoes for a tasty supper on a hot day. :)

Fried Okra


Sliced okra (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper
Canola oil


Heat oil in cast iron pan.
Combine cornmeal and dash of salt and pepper in a Ziplock bag.
Dip the okra in the buttermilk.
Toss the sliced okra with the cornmeal mixture in the bag.
Place okra in the frying pan and turn it as it cooks to prevent it from burning.
Cook until the okra turns a golden brown.
Drain and serve.

Hope you’ll enjoy a traditional Southern side! And—do you have a regional delicacy that may make others turn up their nose a little? :)

Delicious and Suspicious (Riley Adams)
Finger Lickin’ Dead—June 7 (book 2 of the Memphis BBQ series!)

Congratulations to Julie Hyzy on the release of Grace Interrupted, the second in her Manor House Mystery series.
Click here to read a review from
the Chicago Sun-Times
Click here to order the book.

Congratulations to Wendy Lyn Watson on the release of A Parfait Murder, the third in her Mystery A La Mode series.
Click here to read a review from A Criminal Element.

Click here to purchase the book.

Click here to visit Wendy's Web site and
read on to learn how to enter her contest!

Wendy Lyn Watson's
new mystery A Parfait Murder features a story line about the Lantana Round-Up Rodeo Queen Pageant. To celebrate, Wendy's giving away a little cowboy couture: a leather and rhinestone cuff, and a "rodeo queen" keychain.
Eligibility: This contest is open to everyone living in the U.S. and Canada. One entry per person, please.
How to Enter: Send proof of purchase of A Parfait Murder (either a receipt, or a picture of you holding the book), by e-mail to Put the words "Parfait Giveaway" in the subject line.

Entries must be received by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on Friday, June 17. Wendy will randomly select one entry and announce the winner here on the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog on Saturday, June 18. She will contact the winner via e-mail. If she does not receive a response within 7 days, she will draw a new winning name.