Smothered Okra is as southern as it gets and it’s easy to prepare. It’s one of my absolute favorite dishes and I make it every chance I get. If you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh okra in the summer, put Smothered Okra in rotation. I use cayenne pepper, black pepper and liquid crab boil to make this version pleasingly spicy.
What I used:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh okra, washed and chopped into rounds or halves
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 pound fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 cups water or stock
1 teaspoon Zatarain’s liquid crab boil
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole seasoning
1 large bay leaf
What I did:
In a Dutch oven or very large skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions and stir for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Add okra, stirring every minute or so for 5-7 minutes. Your okra and onions should just be beginning to brown – not burn! – on some of the edges. The browning will give the sauce a rich flavor.
Add the garlic, parsley and shrimp, stirring for an additional 2-3 minutes. Shrimp will begin to turn pink. Add water or stock and raise heat to high. Bring to a rolling boil. Add crab boil and dry seasonings and drop heat to low.
Stir ingredients well, cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. The sauce will look thin at first, but will thicken nicely upon cooking.
Remove from heat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Check seasoning levels and adjust to taste.
Serve over white or brown long grain rice.
This recipe serves four.