I’ve made gumbo several times in my lifetime, but not the real Cajun type with a roux. There is just something intimidating just in the word roux. Not very many people know how to pronounce it and then not very many know what the meaning is. The term is in my high school textbook that I use with my class. It is hilarious to hear students pronounce it. Recently after Katrina we have many students from New Orleans. You should see the looks they give the Southerners from Georgia. Don’t you know anything? A roux? Well, I fall into that category. I have never made a real roux. Yeah, one for macaroni and cheese sauce or for a rich brown gravy, but for a gumbo? NO! My mother never once made gumbo that I can remember. She could make a mean red-eyed gravy and macaroni and cheese to die for, but no New Orleans style roux. I love gumbo and when I recently found a meat market that sells the best Andouille sausage I had to try my hand at it. I must say that a roux is quite easy.
While I am sitting here writing this post I can see the changing of the seasons. I know it is still hot, but the trees behind our house are beginning to turn from a crisp green to a golden-yellow. I love this part of the year, but I do hate to leave behind all the wonderful produce that the summer brings such as fresh sweet corn, squash, eggplant, watermelon, and two of my favorites okra and tomatoes. While I am a lover of okra simmered in water ( I know you either love it or hate it) I grew up eating fried okra ,too. Not the deep fat fried kind that comes with more crust than okra. We’re talking pan-fried in a little oil and butter after coating the okra with cornmeal. YUM!
Farmer’s markets are all the rage right now. It seems that home grown and organically grown are important factors for shoppers today. I know that it is for me. For the last four summers I have done some of my vegetable shopping at Waldrop’s Farm. Until this year it was just a small stand beside the road. You would just drive up, choose what you wanted, and leave money in the jar. Now it is quite different and I love it! Just look at what Allen built.
This is sooo good!!!
This is going to be the last of tomatoes and okra for a while. At least fresh! The Alabama girl gave me this delicious recipe. She and I taught together for 3 1/2 years. She is a great teacher and a great cook. I miss her terribly,but that is another story. Anyway, last year we had a potluck dinner and she brought this dish and I am going to share it with you.
I get fresh vegetables from the CSA in our area and had a pound of okra to work with. If you do not have fresh okra frozen will work.
Tomato Okra Casserole
- 6 Tbl. onion chopped
- 2Tbl. Bacon grease
- 1/4 t. curry powder
- 1/4 t. red pepper
- 2 1/2 T Parmesean Cheese
- 1 qt. tomatoes peeled cooked or canned
- 1/2 t paprika
- 1 T sugar
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 8 Ritz crackers crushed
Saute onions in bacon grease.
Here is how I got the bacon grease. Save the bacon for later.
Add okra and cook until tender.
Add tomatoes and seasonings. Stir well.
Put in greased casserole
Top with cheese and crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. You are going to love this!!! The okra is not slimy it is just plain good.
The Teacher Cooks