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25 April 2013 @ 06:55 am
Cure for Homesickness Okra and Tomatoes (with cornbread)  
I currently live in the Greater Boston Area (and hope to continue doing so for the rest of my days, because this part of the U.S. is wonderful), but I'm originally from southern Ohio, and was raised by parents who were born and raised in Tennessee and southern West Virginia. Means I've got a deep love for southern cooking, and a complete lack of decent southern food up here (though the beer you can get up here is wild - who knew beers came in flavors???).

I was feeling deeply homesick yesterday for some reason (it happens) and happened to have a package of fresh okra in my refrigerator (I tend to impulse-buy okra; no, I'm not normal), so when I got home from work, I baked a pan of cornbread and googled for a good okra/tomatoes recipe that only called for stuff I had in the house.

Consider me completely shocked and thrilled that the recipe I found:
--> Had all the ingredients listed in order;
--> Had the instructions written out clearly and not in massive paragraph form; and
--> Was perfect. Like, it actually didn't need any changes. At all. Except that I'm planning to add a cup of cooked black beans to the recipe the next time I cook it because I'm a cyclist and need protein in my diet.

That never happens.

I feel like a bit of a jerk for uploading a recipe to my blog that I didn't change at all, but sometimes recipes disappear off the internet, so it's here for my reference. Oh, and truth be told, I did remove the tumeric from the recipe, but that's just because I didn't have tumeric in the house. I'm sure the recipe's great if you add it in.

So without further ado, here is About.com's Okra and Tomatoes recipe, which made this homesick southern girl very, very happy.


Cure for Homesickness Okra and Tomatoes (with cornbread)


Tasty, tasty cornbread
1ish lb fresh okra (I had 0.8 lbs), tops lopped off, and cut into 1" pieces (frozen probably works too, but you should microwave-thaw it out)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves if you're doing it that way)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with their juices
3 generous pinches salt


- Bake some cornbread. No seriously, make cornbread to go with this. You can serve it over rice, or over beans if you're carb-conscious, but it's just NOT as good.
- You can find my favorite cornbread recipe HERE.

- Chop up your okra and slice your onion. Seriously, do this first. The original recipe said to and I ignored it and totally regretted that decision about 10 minutes later.
- I measure out all of my spices (chili powder, cumin seeds, red pepper) first, too, but that's optional.

- In a medium saucepan over high heat (somewhere between 8 and 9 on my stove), heat oil.
- Add in sliced onion and stir it around a bit until it's coated in oil.
- Add in garlic. Stir that around some.
- Once the onion's started to brown some (around 2 minutes, I'd say - don't let it burn), add the spices.
- Drop the heat to medium (between 6 and 7 on my stove)
- Mix the onion/garlic around so the spices coat everything evenly.
- Add in the okra and stir it around.
- Let that cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes, just until the okra's started to cook.
- Add in the tomatoes, with their juices, and stir so everything's even in the pan.

- Let simmer on medium low heat (4 on my stove) for ... oh, I'd say I let it go maybe 10 minutes? until everything's soft and the okra's cooked but not falling apart.
- Serve over warm cornbread.