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Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 8–10 Servings

Okra, or gombo, was brought to Louisiana by the Africans in the early 1700s. The vegetable was quickly adapted for use in many dishes, especially gumbo. Smothered okra and tomatoes can be eaten alone or made into a side dish by adding lump crabmeat, shrimp, or even smoked sausage.  In season many Louisianans cook okra in large batches and divide into portions to freeze for later use.

3 quarts sliced fresh okra
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
½ cup minced garlic
½ cup hot chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste


NOTE: It is important to select only young, tender okra for smothering. As the season progresses, okra hardens on the bush and is no longer prime for cooking. In a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic and sauté 2–3 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add okra, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to simmer and cook approximately 1 hour or until “stringing” or the slime created from the extruded protein of the okra disappears, stirring occasionally. Okra and tomatoes should be well smothered and tender. Adjust seasonings to taste using salt and pepper.




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