I admit it: I'm a complete okra fiend. If I had to choose between chocolate and okra, I'm not sure which would win. It might be on my top 10 list (see Jenny's prior post), though I have a really hard time conceptualizing my diet like that.
One of the key reasons I love it so is that it grows like a weed in my backyard. For a few months of the year, it's the key vegetable of my diet. Because it's soooo darn good. And while I may be a Yankee by birth, I'm all Dixie in the kitchen.
Today's stewed okra was born of necessity: I'd been hoping to save up enough okra to pickle some more, but with the cooler weather I'm not harvesting enough. I had a bag of maybe 50 pods that was going down hill fast, and it needed stewing 911. And it is amazing. I meant to eat it with rice and white beans tonight, but it won't last that long.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat some peanut oil. If said skillet was recently used for sauteing andouille, bacon, or other such meats - so much the better. Erica at Bacon Concentrate waxes poetic on her love for pork fat, and let me just say: she's not wrong. But one of the best parts is that a little goes a long way.
Saute the trinity and garlic over low heat. (However, today I had used all the garlic, bell pepper, and celery in the beans and had none left. So it was just onions, which I had frozen when I got onions on sale months back.)
Add in the okra, sliced to about 1/4" thickness (or larger). I like a variety of sizes for a variety of textures. Stir it up good, let it heat up.
Add in a can of diced tomatoes. Sprinkle some Creole seasoning on the top. Stir well, and let it stew, stirring occasionally.
I probably let it cook for about 20 minutes, but then some okra stuck to the pan so it was done.
And soooooo good!!
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