My favourite things to do while visiting our friends in Oklahoma, is to come around their local farmers market with my friend Raeda.
Located in a small town of Stillwater; ” OSU Home Town “.Hey, Where’s the fans…? Stillwater, where my husband spent about 12 years of his college life, also I have plenty of happy memories every time I visited this charming, beautiful, and quiet little town.
I admit it, I’m madly in love with their farmers market, as much as it reminded me with our middle eastern markets and streets venders.
Well, actually, we have plenty of farmer markets in Wichita, but they don’t have that variety of produces like the Stillwater’ farmers have.
A lot of farmers bring their produce and goodies to share it with the locals, all with tremendous variety of vegetables I always adore to look for and actually not available in grocery stores near us, those kinds were used to find it all the yearlong in Middle eastern ‘ markets.
The bakery section in the market have the fresh bread loaf, the cheese woman makes the cheese fresh and yummy.
I’m always looking for the Ishtar Squash, it’s similar to Zucchini Squash, only sweeter. Plenty of vegetable you can see in the market; the small eggplants, small Okra, Jews Mallow (Molokhia), the small fresh cucumber, the Fava beans, the long beans (Lubia), even sometime figs which is hard to find it here with the cold weather in kansas.
The snaky snake gourd, the long beans, the luffa, and the bottle gourd
Plus you can find some strange vegetables like the snake gourd (it’s an asian vegetables, it’s really seems like a snake shape, used also in crafting and it’s the same one that used for scrubing in bath, or the one they making sandals but this when the plant get too much big), it’s my first time I see like this vegetable or even know a bout it. The bottle gourd, or even some shapes of bowl zucchini squash, the luffa (also known as okra squash, it looks like the okra but in bigger shape)and plenty of winter squash and summer squash.
the indian section also have the Naan bread and Gollab Jamon and different kinds of chutney and stews.
My friend ‘ daughter. Don’t you think the Bumpkin looks bigger…???
Well, it’s for $36. I mean the bumpkin.
Our lovely farmer;Rita and her husband, she always know what kind of vege we like and grow them, she even knows the sizes we wants.
Among the various kinds of produces, there was always a chance to try some of the farmers adorable recipes from their fresh produce and some cooking tips.
For my today recipe, some winter vegetable stew where the luffa is the star and the rice added to complete the meal, the recipe (not completely) from the farmer we met in the market, she offered to me and my friend a plate to try the luffa stew, and mentioned some of the ingredients and tips on how to cook it, with promises that the complete recipe will be on Stillwater newspaper in a couple of weeks may be, but who wants to wait, not me…
so I took some luffa to try it at home, I added the flavors according to my taste bud, that was almost nearly to the one I tasted at the market, but I didn’t add rice to it, the one we tasted at the market, there was a delicious after taste, we figured that it might be the soya sauce so I add some plus some teriyaki sauce which adds a depth to the final taste, I could not imagine how good and delicious that was. Plus don’t forgot how healthy it is with these fresh vegetables and plenty of fibers, that make it a very good vegetarian dish.
Luffa and Winter Vegetable Stew
1\2 cup chopped onions finely chopped
2-3 gloves of garlic minced
1 small green zucchini
1 small eggplants chopped
1 snake gourd
3 luffa squash, trimed, cleaned, and chopped
1 yellow or orange sweet bell pepper
1 cup chopped fresh mushroom, shiitake is preferable
3 Roma tomatoes chopped fine
1\2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
Start with chopping the vegetables, peel the edges that apear on the side of luffa.
In a small sauce pan, add 3 tablespoon oil, the chopped onion and the garlic, sauté and stir in the vegetables one by one, stir after each add, add the salt and pepper, the stock and the soya and teriyaki sauce, stir and cover the pan and let the vegetable cook on medium low heat until tender and cooked.
Serve it either with rice on the side or some your favourite bread.
As for a bonus recipe, I asked my friend Raeda to share her delicious recipe of seafood kabsa, (the one she cooked for us while visiting her), and she was very welcome. Wishing her God’ blessings and her family. By the way she’s a good cooker, I really feel my self eating from five-star chef.Thank sister for the good times we always spent in your home.
Seafood kabsa with Herbed Baked Fish
It’s a well-known middle eastern rice dish, where the spices is the star in it.
sauté a 1\2 cup chopped onion with 2-3 tablespoon olive oil.
In the food processor, chop 6-7 garlic cloves and 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves,add it to the onion keep stirring. Add about 4-5 chopped fresh Roma tomato, stir, then add a small pieces of tilapia fish (cubes cutted), shrimp, crab legs, or any kind of fish you like.
Add all the spices that you could imagine( that’s what she’s doing, and dam, it’s so delicious) salt and pepper, cardamom,cumin and coriander, special kabsa spices (you can find it at any Pakistani or Middle Eastern grocery store), dried basil and oregano. Stir in the rice (she used uncle pins, but you can use also basmatti rice or any long grain rice), soak some saffron thread in water and add it, add water or chicken stock, cover and let it cook on low heat until the rice fluffy tender and cooked.
Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or slices silvered almond and fresh chopped parsely on top.
Serve with fresh middle eastern vegetable salad.
For the fish, season with lemon and spices, cumin, dried coriander, pepper,and salt, fresh chopped cillantro and garlic paste, let soak for at least an hour, put in the preheated oven for 1\2 an hour at 400 f.