Today’s southernism: “He’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine”
As on any number of days something from the freezer falling out and smashing a toe or two inspires that night’s dinner and yesterday it was frozen okra from last summer’s farm stand, sliced and ready to use in any number of recipes. Deviating from the usual side of grits I made okra cornmeal cakes a nice change to go with the creamy shrimp. Easy dinner.
SHRIMP WITH TASSO CREAM SAUCE
1 cup heavy cream
3 T. olive oil
1/3 cup Tasso Ham (Kentucky prosciutto style ham)
¼ cup Kernel Corn
¼ cup Diced Tomatoes
2 T. chopped Green Onion
½ pound shrimp
1 T. Cajun Seasoning
¼ cup Asiago Cheese
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Sauté the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and olive oil. In another pan, sauté the ham, corn, tomatoes and green onions. Add heavy cream and Asiago cheese; let simmer for two minutes. Add shrimp and serve over cooked stone ground grits of your choice.
Okra Cornmeal Cakes
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups water, more if needed
8 oz. okra, stems trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick (frozen worked fine, thaw in a colander to get rid of excess water)
1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
1/4 cup corn oil, for frying
Line a plate with paper towels. Set aside.
To prepare the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and fine salt. In a second bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine the egg and water. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the okra, jalapeño, and garlic. Stir to combine. (The batter is thick, but should be wet, not dry. Add water as needed; the amount will depend on the size grind of the cornmeal.)
To fry the griddle cakes, heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto the heated skillet and press into an even layer. Repeat with additional batter, without crowding. Cook the cakes until the bottoms are brown and bubbles form on the tops and edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate. While hot, season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately.