Cooking Louisiana  -  Smothered Okra
Smothered Okra is a South Louisiana favorite. This can be eaten as is, and, becomes the beginning of a Shrimp Okra or Chicken Okra Gumbo.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds okra sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
2 med. chopped onions
1 chopped bell pepper
1 stalk chopped celery
Handful of chopped green onions
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of Thyme
Pinch of sugar
Salt, Pepper & La. Hot Sauce
1 - 2" x 2" piece of salt meat or pickled pork
2 (16 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes cut up with liquid
water or chicken broth as needed

Pour the oil into an aluminum, Teflon coated or stainless steel pot (not cast iron - the okra will turn black). Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and salt meat and sauté for 10 minutes.

Add the okra and sauté until sliminess begins to disappear. Some folks add a little vinegar to help suppress the slime. Add tomatoes and continue to sauté for about an hour stirring every few minutes. As the water from the stewed tomatoes begins to evaporate add a little water at a time to keep things moist. Add remainder of ingredients and continue to cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently Cover the pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Reduce to low heat.

Continue cooking, with the lid on, for one and half to two hours, or until the “sliminess” has disappeared. Cook, uncovered for the last 15 minutes. The time will vary according to the tenderness of the okra. You must keep stirring or it will stick.

Makes about 10 servings.