Monday, September 13, 2010

Smothered Okra - Southern Okra and Tomatoes

A southern favorite, okra is sliced and cooked in bacon drippings and Vidalia onion, garden or canned tomatoes and a can of Rotel tomatoes for a little extra kick.

Smothered Okra and Tomatoes

Definitely another southern favorite for us veggie lovers that's made in a variety of ways depending on the household - though I'll betcha a dollar that soon as I post this link over on the Facebook page I'll get a few proverbial "yucks". There's always at least one person who feels a need to express their dislike of okra, one of those veggies folks seem to either love or hate. Seems there's not much of an in-between. Me? I happen to be a lover.

I like to start mine with bacon so that I can use the drippings to saute the onions and okra - and when they are available, absolutely use sweet Vidalia onions. Okra can be fresh or frozen, it really doesn't matter and frankly I almost always have frozen since they are convenient to have on hand. With a very short shelf life, most of us who grow them, put at least some of them up that way anyway and I find frozen okra to be just as delicious, so use what you have access to.

I keep it pretty simple from there, tomatoes - fresh if you have 'em, canned and diced if not - a little bit of garlic and a few simple seasonings - a bit of salt and pepper, sugar and of course, my favorite Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, though you can substitute what's available to you, or omit it if you prefer not to have the heat. I'm startin' to see Slap Ya Mama showing up mentioned on a few other blogs. I like to think that I started a trend there! It really is a very good general purpose Cajun seasoning and as y'all know, I use it a lot. One of our Facebook readers even found some way up in Oregon y'all! Now how about that.

I also like to add in a can of Rotel for the extra kick too, but you can omit that if you prefer and add extra tomatoes. Some folks even like to add in other veggies to their okra and tomatoes, like maybe a bit of green bell pepper or corn in their okra and tomatoes - kinda like I do my summer succotash.  As always, I say make it yours!

Are you a lover of okra too? What's your favorite way to eat it? I love it stewed like this, especially in the late summer, but I really love it either skillet fried, or my favorite way, dredged in buttermilk and deep fried the best, personally. Imagine that!

Recipe: Smothered Okra

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1-1/2 cups of chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of okra, fresh or frozen, sliced
  • 3 cups of fresh tomatoes, peeled, juices retained or canned, undrained
  • 1 can of mild Rotel diced tomatoes, drained, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, like (Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cut the bacon into the skillet. Cook until crisp, remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, cooking about 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and sliced okra (if frozen you do not need to thaw) to the skillet and stir fry, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes and Rotel with all the juices, sugar, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning. Give it a stir, bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed; stir in bacon. Serve immediately. Very good as a side dish, or as a main course served over rice.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Southern Summer Succotash
Southern Deep Fried Okra
Southern Fried Corn

Posted by on September 13, 2010
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21 comments:

  1. I love okra and tomatoes but make mine a wee bit differently. I use bacon grease or a bit of skin/fat off a ham instead of fresh bacon. And I don't use rotels and don't bother with being sure I have sweet onions - just add a tad of sugar if it seems tart. I also use any fresh tomatoes that seem to be getting beyond slicing.

    Our methods are just about the same but I love to make it a day ahead and reheat it. Seems tastier then. Serve with cornbread.

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  2. I love fried okra the best...but this looks good too!

    I'm back to blogging if you would like to visit with me.

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  3. I don't think I have ever known a soul in SE Ohio who cooks or serves okra. I have had the deep fried in my southern travels and liked it. I also thought the pickled okra on the salad bars was good.

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  4. Also good with some chopped green pepper. My mom would add baby limas and called it 'goulash'.

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  5. Love the okra recipe. Indian cooking uses a lot of this vegetable and it's always been one of my favorites. This looks worth a try.

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  6. This looks yummy Mary-I haven't had this dish before, but I've heard of it.Seems like Rotel would be an excellent addition-YUM!
    I adore fried okra, and have eaten more of it this summer than usual. I think it's because my grown kids are finally liking it, so I make it when they come over.
    I haven't seen the Slap Your Mama seasoning in my town yet...when I do I'm gonna grab it ,that's for sure!

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  7. Hi Mary,

    I'm not an original Southerner, but I can say that there are no "yuck's" about it; okra is the best! I love it and wish that I had it when I was growing up in Iowa. Besides Southern pulled BBQ (with mustard-based SC sauce) we even had fried okra too . . . there was nothing left! And all of our Northern guests couldn't get enough okra or BBQ!

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  8. Mary, oops I made a typo....we served BBQ and fried okra at our daughter's wedding in '06 (that is what I failed to tell you in my previous comment). Nothing could have topped the menu! It was delicious!

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  9. I am so in love with okra right now. Another great recipe to add to the list.

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  10. I adore your blog and all of the food you put here!! I recently cooked some for Labor day and put a link to your blog! Thanks so much!! You now have made me a southern sweet tea lover!!

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  11. Stewed okra is the best way to have it. Fried is good, yes, but stewed is better. Something about the texture is so great.

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  12. I love stewed okra and tomatoes. When I was a young'un lived next to a okra patch. Every now and then, I find it here in the supermarkets. I usually put in a shrimp and okra gumbo instead of stewing it.

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  13. Okra is a polarizing veggie. Okra and tomatoes even more so. People either love it or abhor it.

    I happen to be in the "love" camp. This looks great Mary.

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  14. I made Okra n maters last night Mary. Bacon is a must. And I used Rotel too with lime in this batch. Definitely yummy. One of these days I'm gonna order some of that Slap Ya Mama seasoning online, we don't have it down here.

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  15. I am a true Southerner from Georgia and eat stewed okra and tomatoes all the time. I grow them in my garden every summer! Another great way to fix okra is to steam it! It is absolutely wonderful steamed! When I was growing up we ate okra boiled! Real southerners love it any way it is fixed!!

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  16. You are right Janice as far as I'm concerned. I know there are some okra haters, but I don't get it. I love it every way - even boiled - though I need to try some steamed too! Is that steamed whole?

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  17. They sell Slap Ya Momma here in Chicago as well. I had been ordering it from Louisiana before then. Great recipe! I added some corn and serve mine over rice.

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  18. Chicago? That's too cool Stacy! Glad it's getting around the country. Corn is a good add-in with okra - I actually add okra to my summer succotash, even though traditional succotash is just basically corn and lima beans. Glad you enjoyed the recipe - thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment!

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  19. It looks so beautiful but is it not slimy? I tried it once at someone's house and it was so horribly slimy:(

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it sure can be slimy, especially when it's boiled, which as an okra lover, I don't mind at all. :) I eat it boiled and slimy as often as I get the chance! Doesn't bother me a bit.

      Pan frying the okra first, in this case a little stir fry, whether in a dish like this, or for a gumbo, before adding it to other liquids, helps to reduce that significantly.

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