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Farmers Market Finds - Suggested Uses

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey all! I just returned from our local farmer's market with some beautiful carrots, pattypan squash, fresh mint, blueberries, and something called California Cajun okra. I am looking for some "tried and true" recipe ideas for these.

The carrots I usually glaze or roast. Boring! Looking for something different yet won't make my son stick his fingers in his nose, shake his head and shreak "Not this kind!"
This is my first attempt at the squash - anything different to expect from regular yellow summer squash?
Mint? I'm thinking a really good mojito (I need it after dealin' with that kid all day.) or the classic peas, maybe some sort of salad (pasta, cucumber?)
Blueberries - I love them in everything: pancakes, muffins, poundcake, plain, syrup, etc. I saw a recipe for blueberries in a salsa somewhere. Anyone tried it?
The okra I'm curious about. They are very short and stubby and I am told that they are the same as regular okra but used a lot in Cajun/Creole cooking. I live in the south and have spent a significant amount of time in Southern Louisiana yet I have never seen them.

What suggestions do you all have for these yummy ingredients?
post #2 of 8
Okra makes great pickles- lots of dill, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sorry, I don't have a recipe....
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post #3 of 8
Well Jenny, when ever i have used patty pan squash or baby carrots i tried to let their beauty speak for themselves. Grilled Sea Bass served over shitake mushroom risotto with spicy roasted beet broth in a large bowl garnished with lightly seasoned/sauteed patty pans and carrots really showcases their vibrant colors. But if you're looking for something a little different, i just thought of this. Blanch your carrots, careful not to break the stem if you have baby ones. Shock them and tempura fry. Kids like crispy things. Also, fried okra is very good and i have seen Japanese chefs tempura those. Serve with a cool curried ginger yogurt dipping sauce or maybe a blueberry yogurt dipping sauce for your son. Kids love colorful stuff too although i'm not sure if he'll do the okra. Ming tsai has a good recipe for tempura that calls for soda water instead of tap water although i do not have it on hand. Blueberry salsa sounds interesting, but you would have to be careful what you put in it. Fresh mint would be good in that instead of cilantro. BTW blueberry vinaigrette rocks on salads. As far as the patty pans difference, they are a quite a bit harder than regular squash and need to be blanched prior to other cooking methods.


Chef Mike
post #4 of 8
I find it hard to control m'solf in farmers markets. All that lovely stuff.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Farmers Markets are heaven, Diane. Thanks for the info Mike. I give 'em a whirl.
post #6 of 8

Here is how I do okra

I saute a chopped onion, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp of cumin, and 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper in oil until the onion is soft. Then add the okra (about 1 pound fresh or 16 oz bag of frozen, thawed) . I cook it about 15 minutes until the okra is browned. If you have cast iron skillet, this recipe is even better. My kids love it; they call it okra-homa (instead of Oklahoma). As a matter-of-fact, we are having it tonight.
post #7 of 8

I suggest you go here, input each ingredient or a combination of ingredients you would like to use and see what results you get. You can narrow by subject and you can read any reviews by people who have tried the recipes which is most helpful.
post #8 of 8

I'm the olny one that likes okra here.
I made some deep-fried okra yesterday, and here's how:
- clean the okra and remove the stalk. Cut into 1 cm ( about 1/3") pieces, add plenty of salt and red chile powder, and a few Serranos if you like. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or so.
Heat a (frying) pan with at least 3 inches of oil. Deep fry the okra pieces until just browned, about 10 minutes.
Remove and drain on kitchen paper - serve with rice and lentils, or with a SouthWestern Chicken dish, or what ever takes your fancy.
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