Okra and Tomatoes

I’m not sure why I decide to torture myself sometimes. Okra and tomatoes is a treasured childhood memory. I was a picky eater as a child, to say the least (meat/potatoes/occasional bean?). I didn’t really like okra. I didn’t even really like tomatoes. Something about this slow simmered dish served over cornbread cracked my picky shell. I’ve tried to re-create it at least one time before. It was a complete and total failure. This is something that really can’t be replicated. How can you even come close to fresh tomatoes from the garden, fresh okra from the garden, and a grandmother’s (and great grandmothers!) magic touch (and probably lots of bacon grease?haha)?

But….. In honor of my southern parents visiting this weekend I’m giving it a go. I’m really hoping it qualifies as even a distant relative of the one from the past. 🙂

Okra and Tomatoes
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Ingredients
  • 3 TB oil or butter
  • 3 TB flour
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 16 oz okra sliced (if frozen...thaw)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp Tone Chachere's
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in heavy pan to medium. Add flour. Stir often and cook until a deep chocolate color to create a roux. (Reducing heat to med/low or low will probably be necessary not to cook too quickly or burn the flour.)
  2. Whiz one can of diced tomatoes until smooth.
  3. Once there is a roux add onion and garlic. Cover and simmer on lowest heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and simmer on lowest setting for approximately 3-4 hours. Stir as needed to avoid sticking or burning on bottom.
  5. Add whizzed tomatoes. Cook until heated through. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Serve with cornbread or rice.

When in doubt about things like gumbo, beans, and now this dish, I default to Tone Chachere’s cajun seasoning. It has a unique blend of flavors that just seems to do the trick somehow. I’ve tried other cajun seasonings and they honestly don’t even compare. Not sure what their secret is, but I’ve appreciated it on many many occasions. 🙂

By the way… there are few smells better than onions hitting a roux! Swoon.

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