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Fried Okra

During state fair season, fried food always assumes its exalted status in the culinary world: Tempting otherwise healthy eaters with crunchy textures and nutty aromas. Or, making headlines with the latest and greatest experiments in greasy goodness. Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake anyone? You can still get your fill of wacky fried foods at the ultimate in competitive frying, the State Fair of Texas. The Big Tex Choice Awards for 2011 Most Creative goes to Fried Bubblegum.

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Strawberry Saba Sorbet

Just as Florida's Strawberry Royalty packs up their crowns and sashes to make way for the Tomato Queen, weather's starting to warm up in the opposite corner of the country. And so, the west coast picks up where Florida left off -- in praise of the sovereign strawberry.

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Carolina-Style Deviled Crab

Deviled crab is a popular Lowcountry dish, especially in South Carolina. Deviled refers to spicing up a dish with one or two ingredients, such as hot sauce, mustard, or red pepper flakes. We've used a sweet and tangy hot sauce from NW Elixirs for a flavorful heat, but any hot sauce can be substituted. Add a few extra dashes according to your heat preference. I like extra spice against the rich and creamy crab.

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Spaghetti In Tuna Sauce With Spicy Breadcrumbs

You may not recognize this dish. Look closely -- canned tuna, pasta, crispy bits on top -- it's starting to come into focus now, isn't it? No matter the amount of kitchen wisdom gathered throughout the years, I remain steadfast in my love for tuna casserole. I chucked the canned soup ages ago, replacing it with homemade Mornay sauce instead (so much better). Then one day, in need of a quick food fix, and yearning for my old standby, I dreamt up this iteration: Spaghetti, slicked in a simple tuna sauce, sprinkled with crispy spicy breadcrumbs. The tuna casserole of the 50's was revered because a delicious meal could be put together in 30 minutes. This new version promises all the same comforts in less than 20.

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Russian Dressing

Sure, you could have a pastrami sandwich without the creamy pink sauce referred to as Russian dressing, but why would you want to? The classic sandwich, generously topped with a pile of brined and hardwood-smoked meat is made infinitely better with its addition. And while it may be tempting to buy it by the bottle, it takes less time (and tastes way better) to simply make it at home.

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Fried Okra
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Strawberry Saba Sorbet
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Carolina-Style Deviled Crab
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