Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Experimental Vegetables - okra

If I'm around (and out of bed) on Sunday mornings I like to go to the farmers market. But if I can't make it, I have the fresh food wholesaler's market in the next suburb. I am spoilt for choice when it comes to fruit and vegetables, but have you noticed that it's hard to past the tried and true?
Spring has sprung, and in both markets there are heaps of new and interesting things. There are jack fruit and custard apples and jerusalem artichokes, but I keep coming back to my regulars. Recently I have been challenging myself to get a new and different veggie every week. I have bought celeriac (boy, that's one ugly food), fresh tumeric (stains fingernails) and funny sorts of lettuce. This week, I chose okra.
I couldn't take a decent photo of them, so I've included Cyndi's.
I'd like to try her recipe one day, but this time I went for something a little less obtrusive, but still southern. I made gumbo!
My version was loosely based on this one on Epicure. But I messed with it a bit so here's my version. Authenticity be hanged.
Chicken and okra gumbo
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons plain flour
1 cup fresh okra, trimmed and sliced
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 skinless chicken breast, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Stir the vegetable oil and flour in a large saucepan over high heat. When it's bubbly and dark brown, add the okra, stock and tomatoes. After 3 minutes, add the chicken and thyme, and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked.
How easy is that?

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