"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Last Of Summer



Okra is the last vegetable left in the garden.  It loves the dry and heat and comes on like gangbusters. Of African origin, it can be eaten many ways.  Lately, I see it salted and dried whole in containers, but I've yet to try it.

I have deep southern roots; my mother and her family were from Louisiana.  Where I live now, okra is mostly dredged in cornmeal and flour and fried.  Farther 'down south' it is eaten stewed with tomatoes or in my favorite dish, Gumbo.

I slice it and put it in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.  Some dredge it in their favorite mixture then freeze it to fry later.  This Gumbo recipe is the real deal, straight from New Orleans.  I make so much of it, I freeze what is left for later and it is just as good as the day I made it.  So here it is.

New Orleans Gumbo

Make a roux with bacon grease and flour.  I use about 1/2 cup grease to 1 cup flour.  You want to cook the roux till it is golden to amber in color and the consistency of gravy.  ADD 2 lbs. of sliced okra and cook down for about 15 minutes.

ADD    2-3 cups of chopped onions
1 cup chopped green
scallions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 TB. minced garlic

Cook 10 minutes more then ADD 1 1/2cups chopped tomatoes

ADD 2 quarts cold water.  Mix ingredients.  ADD 1 whole chicken that has been boiled and pulled from the bones.

ADD seasonings:
3 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
5 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 TBS. lemon juice
10 whole allspice
8 whole cloves
1 tsp. mace

Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour.  Stir from time to time and stir bottom of pan to keep from scorching.  At the end of the hour, add another 1/2 quart of water and a package of sliced polska kielbasa or your favorite kind of sausage.  Cook 15 minutes more and serve over your favorite rice.

POINTER'S - I've used the water that I cooked the chicken in or added chicken bouillon to the brew.  I don't like chomping on the cloves and allspice so I use it ground up. And, since I rarely measure, certainly adjust the spices to your taste.  I usually use more than the recipe calls for.  I've also added shrimp and crab at the last few minutes of cooking.  I don't think you can mess this recipe up.

32 comments:

  1. I haven't had gumbo in years; it's been that long since I was Louisiana way. I must have had gumbo from your recipe; it was that good.

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    1. I love Cajun food, but I rarely get it. Have to be farther south than here.

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  2. Gumbo is another of the things I am familiar with through reading, but have never tried. Do you think a vegetarian version would work?

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    1. Yes Child, the only thing I wonder about is how to replicate the bacon flavor. Vegetarian cookbooks must have something to use in place of it, tofu and I can't remember the name - maybe saight or some meat substitute.

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  3. This is all entirely new to me, I'm going to have to consult the catalogues to see if okra is suitable to grow in Blighty! (I've put a response to your last posting on my Miss Cellany blog with some dog drawings from my sketchbooks.)

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    1. I'll go look Rosemary. I didn't know you had another blog. Cajun food is the bomb. I hope you can grow okra, but it has to be in the hottest part of the summer. Some also like it pickled or on the grill with a marinade.

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  4. Having grown up on the West Coast, I'm sorry to say I don't know Gumbo from my elbow. I'd love to though, so thanks for the recipe! I think I had okra once or cooked it once, but can't remember where or why.

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    1. It's a southern thing Bea. But, I think you'd have the guests swooning over it at your housewarming.

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    2. That would have been good! As it stands, folk were appreciative of the Swedish meatballs I made, but barely touched the Channa Masalla. Ah, well, they didn't what they were missing!

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    3. I love Swedish meatballs but haven't tried the Indian dish. Oh well, more for you.

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  5. Such an interesting recipe Donna and really so foreign to me here in the UK - I really would love to try it though.

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    1. Cajun food is spicy Pat; full of flavor and you must like spicy to like Gumbo. It definitely isn't bland so I guess you have to be reared on it. It is sever in a bowl over rice.

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  6. Oh Donna, gumbo is soooo delicious. I actually have some okra in my fridge right now, but will be adding it to a curry dish. However, I am delighted to have this recipe from you! How could any recipe that begins with making a roux using bacon grease be anything but delish?

    Confession: I don't buy bacon often, but think I might just have to mend my ways soon. xo

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    1. I bet there is good Cajun food on every corner in NYC. I quit eating red meat for five years because of the cruelty and planet and what did I miss the most? Bacon.

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  7. Sorry Donna, I'm afraid okra is my least liked veg! Perhaps because I came to the south later in life and it was first served to me all slimy, or the deep fried version as they seem to do it around NC. Being a non-meat eater gumbo doesn't do it for me either - perhaps there's a vegetarian version I could like though.

    Mary -

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    1. Oh Mary, I can't do the slimy either. The slime in the gumbo thickens it, but some I know, marinate it and grill it. I haven't tried that yet, but I bet it has to be fresh. Freezing makes the slime. Must be a vegetarian gumbo. If you eat seafood, oysters and crab and shrimp could work.

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  8. Jacques mom cooked everything in bacon fat..our mothers kept jars in the fridge..I admit to having one..in a cute pot;) but never remember to use it.
    I have never had gumbo and must remedy that.
    I loved the book the Divine Secrets of The Yaya Sisterhood9not the movie..don't judge a book by it's movie..)..and I thinkthey had it in that book..don't know why it made me think of that:)
    Okra looks like those Fimo things:) Do you find?:)

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    1. What's a Fimo thing? I'm reading the book you just finished; God I can't remember the name. The Lilac Girls.

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  9. Excellent! Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. It is good and just as good re-heated.

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  10. I like okra but don't really eat it.
    Don't like cornmeal coating to heavy for me.
    Love gumbo ! Thank you so much for the recipe.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  11. I LOVE fried okra - brings me back to my childhood when my granddad would fry up a whole bunch for dinner. How lucky you are to be able to have such a wonderful garden - here in the suburbs the squirrels would get all the bounty!

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    1. They got all the corn Amanda. The acorns are starting to fall and that will keep them busy fighting the deer for them.

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  12. This would also be yummy without the meat.

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  13. That was very interesting to read about okra. I have never tasted it although i have seen it for sale occasionally in the supermarkets. Sarah x

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    1. It is good fried, but favorite is in gumbo.

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  14. The okras look so vibrant! Love okra so much ♥

    summerdaisycottage.net

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    1. Are you a southerner Summer? My second daughter's middle name is Summer. Thank you for stopping by.

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  15. Dear Donna your gumbo sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing this genuine New Orleans recipe. I forgot to plant okra this year. I hope not to forget next summer. Have a great weekend. Hugs!

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  16. Your welcome Deb and hope your weekend is wonderful too.

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