Memories of Law School (Smothered Okra)

I love getting the box from Hollygrove Market, but sometimes it is way too much food for one person! In a recent box there was a bunch of yummy stuff including okra. I decided to blanch and freeze the okra for a later date. The date came when I got three packs of pickle meat and was craving comfort food with the change in weather. What a perfect thing to make, smothered okra! I have never made it before but love to eat it.  In Law School we used to walk to the Silver Moon Cafe for some soul food in between classes.  It ain't there no more, but I can remember it like yesterday.  A menu of smothered meats or okra, tea in an Igloo cooler and mismatched tablecloths.  The amount of meals I ate there definitely explains why I slept through so many classes in Law School and gained a bit of weight!

I was looking all over the internet for a good smothered okra recipe and was amazed at the variety of them. Of course a rabbit hole ensued! I pinned a recipe that looked pretty good and was Louisiana style but just looked at the ingredients hard and neglected to really look at the method, which was a bit much for a school night. However I successfully shortened the cooking time and still got to eat at a reasonable hour. I think what helped me decrease the cooking was the fact that the okra was precooked. Keep that in mind if you try to recreate this. I brought the leftovers to the work besties and they loved it and wanted more! Full recipe after the montage!

 I am posting this in Meal Plan Monday with Southern Plate and Southern Bite as well!  Link on over!

I ended up only using one onion.  That's the frozen okra in the plastic bag.

That's a lot of chopped stuff!  Garlic and green onions added to the traditional Holy Trinity.
Saute the trinity with the pickle meat that was cut into largish pieces.
Add the okra.  I defrosted overnight but apparently it was extra frozen!
Add the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil.
Add the rest of the ingredients
And cook until it is done!
Old school comfort like a big ol' hug in a bowl!
Smothered Okra (Borrowed from Cooking Louisiana)

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds okra sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
tablespoon of vinegar
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1 stalk chopped celery
Handful of chopped green onions
3 cloves minced garlic
Pinch of Thyme
Salt, Pepper and Hot Sauce to taste
1 pack of  pickled pork cut into big pieces
2 (16 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes with liquid
water or chicken broth as needed

Pour the oil into a big  pot (not cast iron - the okra will turn black). Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and pickle meat and sauté for 10 minutes.

Add the okra and sauté until sliminess begins to disappear about 10 minutes. Add a little vinegar to help suppress the slime. Add tomatoes and continue to sauté for about an hour stirring every few minutes. As the water from the stewed tomatoes begins to evaporate add a little water at a time to keep things moist. Add remainder of ingredients and continue to cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently Cover the pot. Reduce to low heat.

Continue cooking, with the lid on, for another 30 minutes, or until the “sliminess” has disappeared. Cook, uncovered for the last 15 minutes. The time will vary according to the tenderness of the okra. You must keep stirring or it will stick.  Serve over cooked rice.

Happy Cooking!


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