Okra is a funny little vegetable that grows plentiful in the South. It likes to grow in the really hot sun that southern summers are famous for. It seems like a lot of cooks don't really know what to do with this vegetable, unless you were raised in the South and even then it's sort of an unknown to many. There are several ways I use okra in my cooking. I love it in things like vegetable soups and in some gumbo concoctions. It is sort of a natural thickener in such things. I also love it breaded and fried, of course. This recipe takes okra and adds other great ingredients from the garden or pantry, in winter months, and just makes it delicious.
One key to good okra is not to let it get too big before picking and cooking. It tends to get a little tough and woody if it's too large. Here is what you will need for this dish:
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped and cooked crisp
3/4 lb. fresh okra or 2 cups, sliced in about 1/2 inch pieces (can substitute an equal amount of frozen okra)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 cup fresh corn kernels (can use frozen niblets)
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced or 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere's (optional)
Cut the bacon in about 1 inch pieces. I like to use my kitchen shears to do this quick. Fry in a skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet to a plate.
Saute the okra and onion in the bacon drippings for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Then add the corn and sauté it for a minute or two. Last, add the tomatoes and seasonings last. Stir together. Let simmer until the okra is done about 15 -20 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with the chopped bacon and serve! I like to add a dash of hot sauce to mine!