Bacon drippings give this dish a smoky depth of Southern flavor, but it’s fine to keep it on the lighter side with peanut oil. Serve it over cooked rice, grilled or pan-fried polenta slices, or a bed of grits.
1. Heat the drippings or oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, cooking about 3 minutes until beginning to brown and soften. Add the garlic and sliced okra and stir, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add more oil if neccessary.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Cajun or Creole seasoning, and sugar. Let the mixture simmer for 7 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring until the shrimp are just-pink. Adjust seasonings to taste and, if desired, stir in cooked, crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Photograph by Robert M. Peacock
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, June/July 2014