New Orleans, LA – Okra

Stewed Okra


* 4 tablespoons oil
* 4 pounds fresh okra, cut into rings
* 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
* 4 tablespoons bacon drippings
* 4 tablespoons flour
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 stalks celery, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 bell pepper, chopped
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons thyme
* 1 1-pound can tomatoes
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
* salt and pepper


Heat oil in a saut pan. Fry okra in hot oil (add vinegar to cut sliminess). Transfer okra to a bowl; set aside.

Make a roux in the saut pan with the bacon drippings and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is a dark brown color. Add onion and saut until lightly browned. Add celery, garlic, bell pepper, bay leaves, and thyme; mix well. Stir in okra and tomatoes. Add a little water if necessary to make a gravy. Add sugar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Recipe compliments of Poppy Tooker, author of the new Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook

Shrimp and Okra Bhuna


* 1/2 cup yogurt
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* Pinch of turmeric powder
* cayenne pepper
* salt
* 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 4 tablespoons corn oil, divided
* 4 button mushrooms, halved
* 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
* 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
* 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
* 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
* 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
* pinch of turmeric powder
* cayenne pepper
* salt
* 1 medium tomato, diced
* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
* 1 cup cut okra
* 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges (for garnish)
* chopped cilantro (for garnish)


In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, oil, paprika, turmeric powder, cayenne, and salt; mix well. Add shrimp, cover, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy wok or heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Cook, adding a little water from time to time to keep the vegetables from scorching. When vegetables are done, add marinated shrimp, tomato, and cilantro. Reduce heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a separate pan until smoking hot. Add okra and fry until lightly browned, then add to shrimp-vegetable mixture. Serve hot, garnished with tomato wedges and cilantro.

Serves 4

Recipe compliments of Shalimar Indian Cuisine

Diaspora Gumbo


* 3/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
* 2 pounds okra, thinly sliced (1/8-inch slices)
* 1 cup flour
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 bell pepper, chopped
* 1 1-pound can whole tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons dried thyme
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 gallon stock (shrimp, chicken or vegetable)
* 1 clove garlic

Use any combination of the following ingredients depending on your personal preference and your evacuation site:

* 4 gumbo crabs (can be purchased frozen in 1-pound packages)
* 2 pounds shrimp
* 1 pound smoked sausage (andouille or kielbasa), sliced and browned
* 1 pint oysters
* 2 cups chicken meat
* 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
* salt and pepper
* hot sauce
* sprinkle of fil powder
* hot cooked rice (1/4 cup per serving)


Cover the bottom of a 10- or 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil (approximately 1/4 cup). Heat oil until very hot, then fry okra in single layers until lightly browned. Reserve.
In a 10- or 12-quart Dutch oven-type pot, make a dark roux by combining 1/2 cup oil with flour and cooking until the mixture is the color of milk chocolate. Add onion and stir together; cook until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper; cook together for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add stock, garlic, okra and any combination of the diaspora ingredients (except raw shrimp and raw oysters, which must be added in the last 5 minutes before serving). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or so, stirring periodically to be sure there's no sticking. In the last 5 minutes, add raw shrimp or oysters if desired along with green onions. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve over rice with a sprinkle of fil powder stirred in if desired.

Serves 10 to 12

Recipe compliments of Poppy Tooker, author of the new Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook