Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

I took this a few weeks ago when I was in Paris.  The sun came out for a little while that morning creating shadows that brought into dramatic relief the carvings of some amazing Greek statues in the courtyard of the Louvre.  This is a detail of a horse's tail.  I was struck by the dynamic movement the sculptor captured so long ago.  I could almost hear the galloping hooves. 

Now we're back home.  Summer in south Louisiana is way hotter different  than the summer in France.  Back home, there are other beauties.

One New Orleans beauty is okra.  Do they eat it in other parts of the world?  It's fresh in all the markets (and gardens) right now.  It's used in a variety of old-fashioned recipes.  One of my favorites is okra and tomatoes with shrimp.  I made it yesterday to much husbandly acclaim (and daughterly tolerance).

Here's my recipe:

1 1/2 pounds okra cut into 1/3 inch thick "coins" (frozen is o.k.)
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
a couple of tablespoons of diced garlic
2 large tomatoes diced (chunky)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
black pepper
I actually don't measure ingredients all that much.
  1. In a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high and sautee onions until translucent
  2. Add cut up okra and garlic.  Stir frequently until sliminess is gone.  Add water whenever it looks dry and/or starts to stick.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook until just heated, add cayenne pepper
  4. Stir in shrimp, sautee until just pink
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
I love it with corn bread -- so sweet!  But right now it's so hot (and muggy) here you could cut the air with a knife outside and I didn't want to heat up the kitchen with baking.  I got a crusty country loaf from the bakery.

There aren't too many ways to go wrong; like most traditional recipes there are as many variations as there are cooks.  There's only one rule when cooking fresh okra:  choose younger, smaller pods.  When the pods are too large, they're tough and fibrous.

When Gem was little, she would stick the stem ends of the okra to her forehead and pretend to be a space alien.  I'd stick them to my face too and chase her around.  I remember doing that with my brother and sisters when I was little.  How many other kids were okra space aliens?

On the stitching front, I'm almost finished my niece's butterfly:

I'm excited and think she will really like it.  Yay!


  1. A lovely shadow shot! Thanks for joining in Shadow Shot Sunday! I've never cooked okra. It's not really popular over here but I like the odd look of it! I'll have to try hunting some down :)

  2. Google "bamia". It's a famous dish from my husband's culture made with okra. The trick to bamia is browning the whole okras first in oil. It's also used quite a bit in Indian and African cuisine. I love the stuff.

  3. That's so hilarious, I love okra and was whining to hubby this week-end that Rainbow Baby has really taken over my body (I can't stand the smell of it now).

    I cook shrimp and okra, and it's common is my Caribbean family to eat okra, we love it.

    I don't know Angelle, I think the okra space aliens wouldn't admit to that now, lol.

  4. Harriet, if you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, I'd love to introduce you to this odd little veggie.

    Stephanie, merci! I will definitely try to make bamia and will let you know how it turns out. I really like trying new things.

    Salma, I have a feeling you were an okra space alien at some point in your life...and I totally remember the sensitivity to smells when pregnant. I couldn't even walk into certain restaurants. :(

  5. It is definitely a whole different kind of weather here in Louisiana.

    I haven't had okra in so many years. That's standard diet in my country.

    And way to go on your stitching!

  6. Another okra lover! I don't know if they eat it elsewhere in the world, but we do eat it up here. I buy it from the farmer and freeze it for soups and shrimp gumbo. It's so delicious. Many people in the south seem to prefer it fried, but it tastes best fresh and lightly cooked, in my humble opinion. ~Monica

  7. Jamerica, I bet okra grows well in Jamaica and there are some great recipes.

    Monica, I imagine you in the Midwest; do y'all eat gumbo way up there? I had no idea! I'm not the big fried okra eater myself -- but I do like it pickled.


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