Here is a great way to use all that extra okra that always starts coming in from the garden while the weather is hot. The recipe is easy to prepare and goes great with cornbread. It makes a nice side dish to serve with a favorite meat, can be spooned over white rice or served with black-eyed peas. Because of the spices, the okra can be either fresh or frozen, just be sure it is young and tender if recently harvested.
Okra, a member of the hibiscus family, likes hot weather, so when the summer hits its peak that is when the okra will be producing a bumper crop. It often has to be picked every day to prevent the pods from growing too large and getting tough. Fresh okra and tomatoes from the garden compliment each other well in this recipe. Okra will not keep well after picking so it should be used within a day or too of harvest.
Bacon - 2 slices or 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Garlic - 1 clove finely minced
Onion - 1/2 cup chopped
Okra - 2 lbs - 4 cups when cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
Tomato - 2 large ripe ones diced or a 10 oz can of tomato sauce
Green Bell Pepper - 1 medium chopped
Ketchup - 1/4 cup
Worcestershire sauce - 2 teaspoons
Hot Pepper sauce - 1/4 teaspoon or less
Chili Powder - 2 teaspoons
Black Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Place the bacon in a large skillet and fry until crisp. Remove from the skillet, leaving the drippings in the pan. Instead of using bacon, olive oil can be used to fry the onions and garlic in to make this a vegetarian dish. Fry the chopped onions and garlic in the bacon grease/olive oil until tender.
If using fresh okra be sure that it is young and tender which means not more than 4 inches long. Cut off the stem tops and the pointed ends when washing the okra and cut it into 1/2 inch slices. Crumble the bacon.
Add the sliced okra and the chopped green pepper to the hot skillet and top with the crumbled bacon. Mix everything in the skillet well and cover.
In a bowl mix the tomatoes/tomato sauce, with all the spices and ketchup. Then pour over the cooking okra. Stir well and replace lid. Simmer for around 30 minutes over a medium heat. Serve while hot.