Friday, April 5, 2013

Flavors of the Bayou: Crab Stuffed Okra Poppers Recipe & Story Excerpt

Hi, y'all! I'm honored to present Linda Joyce, a sister writer and foodie. So wonderful to meet friends who enjoy some of my favorite things -- good food and good books! 

I’m excited to spend time with Rashda and the good readers of Hot Curries and Cold Beer. Thank you for having me as a guest.

And no good guest comes present-less to a party, therefore I’m offering a giveaway. For everyone who leaves a message here, their name will be entered into a drawing for a goodie bag from me. The delights of the prize are related to cooking, things I picked up when in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Remember, you must leave a message along with your email address to be entered to win.

In Rashda’s post Finger Lickin’ Good Curried Ribs on 2/8/13, she mentioned Mardi Gras. Well, Rashda is to Food and Texas what I am to Southern cooking and Mardi Gras. And one cannot possibly be from The Big Easy, Baby! without having a love of food. However, I got a double whammy. I’m an Irish/Cajun New Orleanian and half Japanese, too. Isn’t that a culinary treat! *grins*

Per the definition of Foodie from the Urban Dictionary 
My interest in food fits definition #1.

A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation...

I enjoy simple food, for example, oysters. They’re luscious when raw on the half shell or roasted with drizzled garlic butter or in seafood gumbo or just deep-fried. A most versatile frutti di mare.

Now, my gumbo recipe is a closely guarded secret. However, if you come to my house, you know you’re really special if I make Crab Stuffed Okra Poppers. Of course, okra has to be in season—I pick it from my husband’s organic garden. Here’s the recipe:

Crab Stuffed Okra Poppers

Begin by making the dipping sauce: Remoulade sauce. It needs to chill while making the Okra Poppers.

Mix together in a glass bowl:

1 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tsp. chopped parsley
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. sweet pickle relish
1/2 c. ketchup
1 tsp. horseradish (or to taste)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash paprika

Now for the Poppers

Heat oil to 375 degrees in a large deep pot when ready for deep frying poppers.

1) Start with about 20 fresh, young okra, about the size of your middle finger.
Wash, dry, and cut long ways.
It helps if the cut is a 1/3 to 2/3 split so the smaller part will become the “hat,” so to speak, of the okra pod. Keep both pieces together until stuffing.
Remove seeds.

2) Make Dredge:  Combine in a flat pan (I use a pie pan)
1 c. Panko
1 c Bread crumbs
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper if you like a little bite.

3) Dredge: Beat together in bowl
1 large egg (or 2 small)
½ c dry white wine. (wine can be omitted. May have to add another egg)
Dash of salt

4) Make Crab Stuffing:

1 cup crabmeat
½ c. bread crumbs, or panko
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. mustard (I prefer a Dijon)
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 egg, beaten
5 tbsp. real mayonnaise
Salt to taste.

Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl.

5) A - Stuff okra with crab. Pack gently. Replace “hat” so pod looks whole again.
    B - Dip stuffed okra pod into Drench
    C - Dip pod into Dredge
    D - Deep fry 4 to 6 for about 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.
    E - Remove from oil and drain on plate with paper towel.

Serve warm Okra Poppers with chilled Remoulade Sauce. Bon Appetite!

Yes, I am a foodie and it’s part of my heritage and culture. I’m also a writer, and there’s no better way to immerse a reader in setting and culture than by including food in my story.

In my novel, Bayou Born, Branna is having lunch for the first time with James, and this is what ensues:

   “I’ll have the side salad, the garden-salad sandwich and lemonade. Fresh squeezed lemonade. You don’t find that every day.” She looked up into the waitress’ plastic smile, then handed over the menu.

     “Garden sandwich?” James asked. “Not the special? Don’t tell me you’re one of those women who only eats rabbit food. Or don’t you eat southern?”

     What did he mean by that? “Of course I eat southern cooking. I’m from Mississippi. My daddy’s family is from Loosy-ana. My comfort food may be different than yours—there was no seafood gumbo or jambalaya or stuffed mirlitons on the menu—but I promise you my comfort food is southern. I happen to like what the menu says about the specialty sandwich.” She cocked her head, daring him to challenge her decision.

     “Mur-la what?” the waitress asked.

     “Chayote squash or vegetable pear at the grocery store,” James answered. “I want the fried grouper sandwich with fries, please.”

If you want to know more about Branna and James in Bayou Born, the book is available for Kindle now. It will be available in print at Amazon and The Wild Rose Press in mid-April, and Barnes and Noble mid-May.

I invite you over to my place at and please join me at Linda Joyce Contemplates where I blog.

Twitter: @LJWriter


  1. So great to have you visit Linda! Wow, I didn't realize you were part your wonderful mix of heritages!

    And now I'm really wanting some of that gumbo...

    1. Rashda,

      Thank you so much for having me over! Love your blog.

      I've got some gumbo in the freezer. Last time I made some, I made up two gallons. :-)

      In Louisiana, there's a custom: Lagniappe. It's a little something extra. I'm offering, in addition to the giveaway, a paperback copy of my book to the lucky winner. :-)


      Linda Joyce

  2. This post has made me hungry!

    Will check out your book :)

    xandrajames AT rocketmail DOT com

    1. Xandra,

      Thank you for stopping in an leaving a note.


      Linda Joyce

  3. Linda,

    I'm so looking forward to reading your book! During my marriage, I lived for a year in Baton Rouge, the city my ex-spouse roamed during his teen years. The best things my husband left to me are my children...the next best are some great Loosy-ana recipes! My favorite is Shrimp Etoufee'! And I love good Pralines...

    Great post...wonderful exerpt!


    1. Danita,

      Maybe we need to swap some recipes? I love Etoufee anything and Pralines from the Praline Connection on Frenchman Street are my favorite!


  4. Good morning all!

    Rashda, thank you for having me at your place today!It's an honor to be here.

    And, yes the Irish/Cajun Japanese thing covers many culinary treats. :-)


    Linda Joyce

    1. Thank you!!!! I'm sure all the readers will love that! :)

      Lol, we'll have to get together & COOK!

  5. Love New Orleans. :) The food was terrific when I went there 10 yrs ago! :)

    Your book sounds terrific! :) Will look for it!

    maybe31 at

    1. May,

      Thank you for leaving a note. Do you have a favorite food?

      Just so you know, as Lagniappe, I'm including a copy of my book, so maybe you'll be the lucky winner!


      Linda Joyce

  6. Linda - Those Crab Stuffed Okra Poppers sound amazing! It's always good to learn more about you and your very interesting heritage! Love the name of this blog, too! All this talk of food and the divine southern flavors is sending me straight to the kitchen although, unfortunately there's no gumbo waiting for me there. Continued success with the book!

    1. Bookpeeps,

      Thanks for making the click to Rashda's blog. I'm very excited that she's hosting me today. And, I promise, the Okra Poppers are divine!


      Linda Joyce

    2. Those Okra Poppers are more than devine! I've been known to eat them faster than Linda can make them. ;-) Dandy Don

  7. Linda, nice mix of food heritages in your background. One of my favorite foods is Spaghetti Carbonara, which I first tasted in Italy in the mid-seventies. Since I eat mostly vegan now, I don't have it often but it is SO good. :-)

    Off to have some lunch!


    1. Janet,

      I have this plan...Italy. I want to see the sights, however, my plan it to eat my way, north to south, across Italy. Thank you so much for leaving a note.


      Linda Joyce

  8. Never had okra this way. Eaten it raw, fried, in gumbo, etc. Copied the recipe to try later because it looks good.
    Looking forward to reading your book and have added it to my tbr wishlist.
    panthers.ravens@yahoo dot com

    1. Patricia,

      For the final breading, you can also do straight corn meal if you're not a Panko fan. If you make them, please let me know how you like them. :-)

      Same goes for my book. Would love to hear from you about it, too.


      Linda Joyce

  9. Great post Linda :)
    I'm PA Dutch through & through so I'm a Foodie too. I love your recipe for Crab Stuffed Okra Poppers & am going to try the recipe. The excerpt from Bayou Born is cool, I love James and Branna discussing the differences between the foods they grew up with.

    Mindy :)

  10. Mindy,

    I have a good friend who is PA Dutch. :-) She lives in Ashville now and I love going there to try new Farm to Table restaurants. As a foodie, do you have a favorite thing to eat?


    Linda Joyce

  11. To All! Thank you for joining me at Hot Curries and Cold Beer. A big "thank you" to Rashda for hosting me.

    The winner of the giveaway is May!

    I'll be putting the package to her in the post today.


    Linda Joyce

    1. Congratulations May! And thank you for visiting Linda!

  12. I know I'm too late for the contest, but those stuffed okra look like a treat! I have a soft spot for New Orleans, and how nice to meet a hapa writer.

  13. Thanks for visiting Grace! Yes, I'll definitely have to try Linda's recipe! :)