Monday, September 13, 2010

Smothered Okra with Bacon 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.
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 with Bacon 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.

Also known as okra gumbo, 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 {affil link}, 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 with Bacon and Tomatoes

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

  • 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{affil link}, or to taste, optional

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.

Cook's Note: Pan sear some sliced, smoked sausage or andouille and raw shrimp in a separate skillet until browned and cooked through. Toss in the smothered okra at the end.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Southern Summer Succotash
Southern Deep Fried Okra
Southern Fried Corn

Posted by on September 13, 2010
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