If Creoles aren’t available in your area, substitute any ripe tomato or canned. This recipe for Smothered Okra and Creole Tomatoes comes from Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine.
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 pounds fresh okra, sliced into 1/8th-inch rings
- 4 tablespoons bacon grease
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups Creole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced or 1 1-pound can diced tomatoes, including liquid
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot cooked Louisiana rice for serving (optional)
Heat oil in a skillet. Sauté okra until lightly browned and no longer slimy. Set aside. Melt bacon grease over medium heat and add flour to make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly, to a chocolate brown color, about 20 minutes. Add onions, stir together and cook until roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown, about 3 minutes.
Add celery and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables wilt, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add okra, thyme, and bay leaves. Add water and garlic. Remove cover and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
Serve with rice if desired.