Blog | February 23, 2021

Meet Me At the Table: A new cookbook featuring Farm Aid (and a recipe for Peanut Okra Stew)

by Jessica Kurn

We are thrilled to have been included in the cookbook, Meet Me At the Table, which was published last fall and features recipes from musicians and profiles of food justice organizations. Also included in the cookbook are short-form essays from historic and present-day activists in the food system, like Sean Sherman, Leah Penniman, Nano Riley and Will Allen.

This cookbook, which was created by Farm Aid artist Nathaniel Rateliff’s foundation The Marigold Project, acknowledges the history of food in America and shine a spotlight on the incredible work being done all across the country. By centering these voices of activists, Rateliff’s foundation aims to spotlight issues of inequality and oppression as they exist in our food system. Proceeds from the cookbook will be split evenly among organizations profiled in the book, which include Farm Aid, Agricultural Justice Project, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Food Chain Workers’ Alliance, North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, Rural Advancement Foundation International, Soul Fire Farm, The GrowHaus, United Farm Workers and more.

Photo: The Marigold Project

Other Farm Aid artists who contributed recipes include Mark Shusterman (The Night Sweats), Daniel Hardaway (The Night Sweats), Grace Potter, Jack Johnson, Jeff Dazey (The Night Sweats), Jon Batiste, Joseph Pope III (The Night Sweats), Luke Mossman (The Night Sweats), Patrick Meese (The Night Sweats), Ryan Bingham, Tanya Trotter (The War and Treaty), and Valerie June.

One of our favorite recipes is from lead singer of the Seratones, AJ Haynes. Check our her peanut okra stew below and be sure to head over to The Marigold Project’s site to learn more and purchase the cookbook.

Peanut Okra Stew

By AJ Haynes

My garden and my kitchen have been a source of healing during these tumultuous times. This recipe is inspired by my Filipino and African roots, using what we have to make something healing.

Serves 8

Time

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients

For the stew:
1 cup/200 g sorghum grain, rinsed and drained
4 cups/960 mL water
3 dried bay leaves, divided
2 tablespoons white miso paste, divided
6 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, divided
4 large tomatoes**
4 okra pods, tough tops removed, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch/1.25 cm cubes
8 ounces/225 g ground turkey or chicken*
1 small yellow onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch/2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 to 2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
1/4 teaspoon whole black cardamom
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 anchovy fillets
5 cups/1.2 L vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup/240 g natural peanut butter
1 bunch of hearty, dark leafy greens (kale, collard, mustard, or swiss chard), cut into ribbons

For the oven-baked okra:
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1/2 cup/70 g medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup/65 g all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
9 to 10 fresh okra pods, tough tops removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Garnishes:
Chopped green onion
Sliced jalapeño peppers
Lemon wedges
Chopped peanuts

* Omit the meat to make this a satisfying vegetarian dish.
** In place of fresh tomatoes, you can also use 1 15-ounce/425 g can crushed tomatoes (such as Cento brand). Just roast the okra by itself, and add the canned tomatoes along with the anchovies and ground meat.

Instructions

Position racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 450°F/230°C. Line three large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Prepare the sorghum: In a medium saucepan, combine the sorghum and water. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add 1 bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the miso paste. Stir. Cook uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, or until soft.

On one of the prepared baking sheets, drizzle tomatoes and okra with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the pan on the upper rack of the oven. Roast until the tomatoes blister, about 10 minutes.

On a separate baking sheet, spread out the cubed sweet potatoes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the lower rack for 25 to 30 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the oven-baked okra: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and hot sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, Creole seasoning, and paprika. Dip the okra into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, and then dip it into the flour mixture and coat completely. Repeat the process twice with each okra so that they are all double-coated. Place them in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil.

When the first two sheets of vegetables have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C. Bake the coated okra until browned and crunchy, 30 to 35 minutes, flipping the okra halfway through baking.

In a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the ground turkey or chicken and cook for 5 minutes until browned.

In a large pot (such as a Dutch oven) set over medium-low heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onions. Stirring often, allowing the onions to caramelize for about 10 minutes—do not rush this step. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, until fragrant.

In a mortar and pestle, grind the cloves, coriander, and cardamom. Add these ground spices to the pan, along with the paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, and the remaining 2 bay leaves, sautéeing again until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, anchovies, and browned ground meat. Add the vegetable or chicken stock. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon miso paste, peanut butter, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted okra, and greens. Cook for 10 minutes and then season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with the cooked sorghum and garnishes of your choice.


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