SMOTHERED OKRA WITH SHRIMP AND TOMATOES
Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 6–8 Servings
Okra, or gombo, was brought to Louisiana by the Africans in the early 1700s. The vegetable was quickly adapted for use in many dishes, especially gumbo. Smothered okra and tomatoes can be eaten alone or made into a side dish by adding lump crabmeat or shrimp. Many Louisianians make large batches of this dish to freeze for later use in gumbo.
2 quarts fresh okra, sliced
1 pound (71–90 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups diced tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
½ cup diced yellow bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
½ cup chicken stock
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
NOTE: It is important to select only young and tender okra for smothering. As season progresses, okra hardens and is no longer prime for smothering. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté okra, onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic approximately 30 minutes. Stir constantly until okra stops “stringing.” Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to a low boil and cook approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and continue to cook additional 15–20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.