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Creole Okra

Creole Okra
Okra  

My grandmother Roselie and her sister Aurelia, Beulah and Elzena moved to Texas from Opelousas, Louisiana, with recipes in their heads, their hands and their palates. Nothing was ever on paper. Happily, my mother took it upon herself to record at least some of their recipes, measuring ingredients so that she could reproduce meals later at home. Here's one of her favorites.

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Pans: Large saucepan or Dutch oven

Shopping:

  • 1 lb fresh okra (gombos)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Preparation:

Wash okra and cut into 3/4 inch pieces, discarding the stems. Heat the oil in the saucepan. Fry the okra, stirring frequently so that it browns on all sides.

Add the onions and garlic and continue to stir for one or two minutes.

Add the tomato sauce. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the water and add to the pot. Add seasonings.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes. Taste occasionally and correct seasoning.

Note:

You may wish to add one or two chicken backs or wings to the pot to enhance the flavor of this dish. If you start with uncooked chicken, boil the pieces and use one cup of the broth to replace the water and chicken bouillon cube in the recipe. If you happen to be cooking chicken as a main dish to serve with this side dish (using a stewing or sautéing method - fried or barbecued chicken will not do!), simply borrow a back and/or a wing from your main dish and throw them into the pot with the okra and tomato sauce, following the recipe as given above.

Other possible additions:

  • Cooked spicy sausage
  • Cooked shrimp


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