Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vegan MOFO - Day 8 - Iron Chef/Okra and Horseradish



Today I am straying from my there. I love iron chef! Did I tell you how much I love iron chef? It gives one a chance to see how creative they can be. It also opens you up to the possibility of ruining some perfectly good ingredients. This is my favorite arena. I love trying to figure out to how I can wing throwing together a great dinner with ingredients someone else picks out.

This challenge was a bit daunting for me because I can't really stand okra normally, especially the frozen stuff. The first challenge was finding fresh okra this time of the year. Score one for my friend Daphne! One of her neighbors had okra in her garden. I couldn't decide whether to use fresh or prepared horseradish, so I bought both. Now with the chosen ingredients in hand, I needed to get creating.

I had a theory that the pith in the okra is what gives it to that nasty slimy texture I despise. So I decided to clean out the seeds and pith and stuff those bad boys. Okra seems to show up in cajun/creole cuisine. This made me think I should put a cajun twist on things. Here is what I came up with.

Cornmeal Crusted Stuffed Okra served with Durty Rice Cake and Creole Sauce

Cashew Horseradish Cheese

1 cup raw cashews (measured before soaking)
1/2 package Mori-nu silken firm tofu
1 Tablespoon fresh grated horseradish
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch of white pepper.

1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup corn meal
3/4 cup corn flour

Soak cashews in filtered water overnight. Drain. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of processor once or twice. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. This cheese is excellent as a spread on crackers too!!

Get 12 medium sized fresh okra. If it is too large it will be very woody and stringy. If it is too small, it will be hard to stuff. Make a slit down the length of the okra. Carefully remove the pith and the seeds. Gently stuff the okra with the cashew cheese. Refrigerate stuffed okra while you prepare the creole sauce.

After the creole sauce is simmering. Heat canola and peanut oil to 350. Make a breading station with two shallow bowls. One with 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk. In the other bowl mix corn meal and corn flour. Place stuffed okra in milk, then dredge in flour mixture. Repeat one more time. Place breaded okra in hot oil carefully. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Can keep warm in 250 degree oven while preparing side dishes.

Serve over Durty Rice Cake. Drizzle with creole sauce. (Recipes for these will be posted later as another MOFO entry. I have to pack for my trip!!!)

2 comments:

Daphne Azzi said...

Man oh man were these good -- those dirty rice cakes were fab, but for me the star was the stuffed okra. Makes me want to grow it myself!
Thanks Kim, for letting me be on the panel of Iron Chef - I pronounce it a flawless victory!

Jeni Treehugger said...

These look AMAZING! Frozen okra is always slimy but you tend to not have that problem with fresh okra. Good score on having a friend with some growing in the garden. I'm gonna try growing okra next year.