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
I actually don't measure ingredients all that much.
- In a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high and sautee onions until translucent
- Add cut up okra and garlic. Stir frequently until sliminess is gone. Add water whenever it looks dry and/or starts to stick.
- Add tomatoes and cook until just heated, add cayenne pepper
- Stir in shrimp, sautee until just pink
- 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: