I have found as an ex-picky eater that the more I learn about a food, the better odds I will have to prepare it perfectly.  But what do you do with a food that has a bad reputation like Okra.  It doesn’t matter what I read about okra, someone will mention the “slime”.

I’m sure Okra isn’t thrilled with it’s name always being assoiated with slime.  So I took it on myself yesterday to clear Okra’s good name.

I found 3 general thoughts on cooking the slime away. The first, suggests to freeze it.  The second was to wash, dry, steam, and dry again.  The final method was to wash it, slice it and soak it in an acidic medium and then fry it.

Well, I wasn’t going to freeze my fresh okra.  I’ve made gumbo with frozen okra before and I would agree that the “effect” wasn’t too bad.

I then tried the steam method.  I will not do this again.  As I sliced my okra, the mucilage that stuck to my knife literally made me gag.  Poor Okra, I see why you have such a bad reputation.

Finally, I cut my pieces into half inch slices and immediately soaked them in lemon water for almost an hour.   Since I am not a fan of fried food, I separated my okra into two piles.  One pile would be coated in corn meal and fried.  The other pile was going to cook in my dish.

I decided in honor of Fat Tuesday, I’d make some gumbo.  I was lucky enough to be in a city with a Whole Foods earlier this week so I had fresh okra AND andouille sausage!  The andouille gives it the flavor that makes me want to fake a Cajun accent and flash my husband for beads.  This is also the reason we never invite people over for gumbo.

Semi-Authentic Gumbo
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • cup of flour
  • cup butter
  • 3 andouille sausage links
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped (if you like green, go green I just like red better)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 14-ounce can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of okra, soaked in lemon juice, drain and chopped
  • 1 cup of fried okra, (I soaked it in lemon, drained, dried and tossed it in cornmeal. I fried it quickly in vegetable oil and drained it) Set it aside.
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • You can also have some “Cajun” seasoning on hand
  • salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Rice
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium/high heat.
  2. Brown Chicken and remove
  3. Brown sausage and remove.
  4. Melt butter in pan and slowly incorporate flour.
  5. Stir over medium heat until brown. (This is your roux)
  6. Add onion, celery, pepper, and garlic.
  7. Cook until veggies until they start to soften.
  8. Deglaze the pan with Worcestershire sauce.
  9. Add Chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat, add chicken, sausage, and spices.
  11. Taste for seasoning. This is when I just started tossing things in the pan and will confess to shaking a little Emeril Essence in the pan.
  12. Cover the dish and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  13. Add Okra and tomatoes, check seasoning, and simmer another hour, covered.
  14. Serve over rice and top with fried okra.

 

My Semi-Authentic Gumbo

Ingredients

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ cup of flour

½ cup butter

3 andouille sausage links

1 onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. Garlic

1 Red Pepper, chopped (if you like green, go green I just like red better)

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 cups Chicken Broth

1 14 ounce can of stewed tomatoes

1 cup of okra, soaked in lemon juice, drain and chopped

1 cup of fried okra, (I soaked it in lemon, drained, dried and tossed it in cornmeal.  I fried it quickly in vegetable oil and drained it)  Set it aside.

4 bay leaves

½ – 1 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of thyme

You can also have some “Cajun” seasoning on hand

salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

Rice

Directions

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium/high heat.
  2. Brown Chicken and remove
  3. Brown sauage and remove.
  4. Melt butter in pan and slowl incorporate flour.
  5. Stir over medium heat until brown.  (This is your roux)
  6. Add onion, celery, pepper,  and garlic.
  7. Cook until veggies until they start to soften.
  8. Deglaze the pan with Worcestershire sauce.
  9. Add Chicken broth and bring to a boil.

10. Reduce heat, add chicken, sausage, and spices.

11. Taste for seasoning.  This is when I just started tossing things in the pan and will confess to shaking a little Emeril Essence in the pan.

12. Cover the dish and let simmer for 30 minutes.

13. Add Okra and tomatoes, check seasoning, and simmer another hour, covered.

14. Serve over rice and top with fried okra.

 

I will admit there was a minimal slime on the okra that cooked in the gumbo but the fried okra was FABULOUS!!!  It added a nice texture to the gumbo.  All I have to say after that is…..Laissez le Bon temp rouler!!!!