Okra and Tomatoes

My dad is really good at making this. I'm reproducing his "recipe" for it from memory, but it's a really easy dish to make, and don't worry too much about the proportions -- if you like more or less of a particular ingredient, just increase or decease the amount you put in. This is an entirely "to taste" recipe.

My grandmother, who was from Alabama, always made this with ham. You could Cajunize it rather well by substituting tasso or andouille; any good smoked sausage would also work well. (You could also get away with calling it "smothered okra", or "okra étouffée".)

Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery and onions, and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the corn and cook another 3 minutes. Add the okra, tomatoes, tasso or ham and Creole seasoning. Cover and cook over medium heat for at least 45 minutes, or until the okra has lost all of its "sliminess". Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more Creole seasoning if necessary. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes to reduce liquid if necessary.

Yield: About 12 servings.


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)