Southern

Smothered Okra with Shrimp: A Southern Delight

Hey there, food lovers! Today, we’re diving into a classic Southern dish that’s bursting with flavor and soul – Smothered Okra with Shrimp. This recipe brings together the earthy goodness of fresh okra, the rich juiciness of tomatoes, and the succulent taste of colossal shrimp, all smothered in a mouthwatering blend of spices. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out, this dish is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Let’s get cookin’!

If you’re craving a meal that’s both comforting and flavorful, Smothered Okra with Shrimp is the way to go. This dish is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. The tender okra, juicy tomatoes, and plump shrimp combine to create a symphony of textures and flavors that will have you coming back for seconds. Plus, it’s packed with nutritious ingredients and spices that are not only good for you but also tantalize your taste buds. Perfect for family dinners, gatherings, or a cozy night in, this recipe is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delightful dish:

  • 1 lb. Fresh-Cut Okra, sliced into desired pieces
  • 5 Vine or Roma Tomatoes (or 2 extra-large tomatoes)
  • 2 lbs. Colossal Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Paste (or 4 minced garlic cloves)
  • ½ cup Roughly Chopped Onions
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Coarse Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 cups Water or Broth
  • 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 3 Bay Leaves

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Smothered Okra with Shrimp

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

Start by getting all your ingredients ready. Slice the okra into bite-size pieces, wash, drain, and set them aside. Cut the tomatoes into chunks. Peel, devein, and wash the shrimp thoroughly. If you’re using garlic cloves, mince them now. Roughly chop the onions.

Step 2: Season and Cook the Shrimp

Season the shrimp with 1 tsp of kosher salt and ½ tsp of coarse black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for about 6 minutes, or until they turn a light pink color. Remove the shrimp from the saucepan and set them aside.

Step 3: Smother the Okra

In the same saucepan, add the sliced okra and roughly chopped onions. Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Step 4: Add Tomatoes and Seasonings

After 20 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan and mix well. Stir in the tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic paste (or minced garlic), ground ginger, cumin, red pepper flakes (if using), dried basil, dried parsley, and 2 cups of water or broth. Mix everything thoroughly and add the bay leaves.

Step 5: Simmer to Perfection

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the saucepan, and let the mixture cook for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld beautifully.

Step 6: Combine and Finish

After 45 minutes, add the cooked shrimp back into the saucepan. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes to let the flavors combine fully.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Serve your Smothered Okra with Shrimp warm, ideally over a bed of fluffy rice. Enjoy the rich, savory flavors of this Southern classic!

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Fresh is Best: Use fresh okra and tomatoes for the best flavor. Frozen okra can be used in a pinch, but fresh is always preferable.
  • Perfect Shrimp: Don’t overcook the shrimp. They should be just pink when you remove them from the heat initially. They’ll finish cooking when added back in later.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the red pepper flakes to your taste. If you like it spicy, feel free to add more.
  • Low and Slow: The key to perfect smothered okra is cooking it slowly to let all the flavors meld together.

Variations

  1. Smothered Okra with Chicken: Substitute shrimp with boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  2. Vegetarian Version: Skip the shrimp and add more veggies like bell peppers and zucchini.
  3. Smothered Okra with Sausage: Use smoked sausage instead of shrimp for a heartier dish.
  4. Spicy Creole: Add more Cajun seasoning and a splash of hot sauce for a fiery kick.
  5. Seafood Mix: Combine shrimp with crab meat and scallops for a seafood medley.
  6. Creamy Okra: Stir in a splash of heavy cream at the end for a richer, creamier sauce.
  7. Okra Gumbo: Add some chicken stock and a roux to make it into a gumbo.
  8. Smothered Okra with Bacon: Start with frying some bacon, then use the bacon fat to cook the okra and onions.
  9. Okra and Beans: Add black-eyed peas or kidney beans for extra protein and texture.
  10. Okra Curry: Incorporate curry powder and coconut milk for a fusion twist.

What to Serve With Smothered Okra with Shrimp

  1. White Rice: The classic accompaniment that soaks up all the delicious juices.
  2. Cornbread: Perfect for sopping up the flavorful sauce.
  3. Grilled Vegetables: Light and healthy, they complement the rich okra dish.
  4. Potato Salad: A cool, creamy side that balances the spicy okra.
  5. Green Salad: A fresh, crisp contrast to the hearty dish.
  6. Collard Greens: Another Southern classic that pairs well with okra.
  7. Fried Plantains: Adds a sweet and savory element.
  8. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy potatoes to complement the smothered okra.
  9. Garlic Bread: Toasty and perfect for soaking up the sauce.
  10. Cajun Fries: Spicy fries for an extra kick.

Storage Tips

  • Refrigeration: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Smothered Okra with Shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers.
  • Reheating: Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through, or microwave in short intervals, stirring in between.

How Much Should I Make for Family Gatherings?

For a family gathering, it’s always better to make a bit more. For a crowd of 8-10 people, doubling this recipe should suffice. You can always adjust based on the number of sides you plan to serve.

How Far in Advance Can I Make Smothered Okra with Shrimp?

You can make this dish up to 2 days in advance. Prepare it as directed, then let it cool and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove before serving. This actually allows the flavors to develop even more, making it even tastier.

Smothered Okra with Shrimp: A Southern Delight

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 10 minutesCook time:1 hour Rest time: 10 minutesTotal time:1 hour 20 minutesServings:4 servingsCalories:300 kcal Best Season:Summer

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Start by getting all your ingredients ready. Slice the okra into bite-size pieces, wash, drain, and set them aside. Cut the tomatoes into chunks. Peel, devein, and wash the shrimp thoroughly. If you’re using garlic cloves, mince them now. Roughly chop the onions.
  2. Season the shrimp with 1 tsp of kosher salt and ½ tsp of coarse black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for about 6 minutes, or until they turn a light pink color. Remove the shrimp from the saucepan and set them aside.
  3. In the same saucepan, add the sliced okra and roughly chopped onions. Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  4. After 20 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan and mix well. Stir in the tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic paste (or minced garlic), ground ginger, cumin, red pepper flakes (if using), dried basil, dried parsley, and 2 cups of water or broth. Mix everything thoroughly and add the bay leaves.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the saucepan, and let the mixture cook for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
  6. After 45 minutes, add the cooked shrimp back into the saucepan. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes to let the flavors combine fully.
  7. Serve your Smothered Okra with Shrimp warm, ideally over a bed of fluffy rice. Enjoy the rich, savory flavors of this Southern classic!
Keywords:Cajun Cuisine, cajun seasoning, chopped onions, Coarse Black Pepper, Colossal Raw Shrimp, Comfort Food, Easy weeknight dinner, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Okra, Garlic Paste, Healthy Dinner, Kosher Salt, Minced Garlic, One-Pot Meals, Roma Tomatoes, Shrimp Recipes, Smothered Okra, Southern cooking, tomato paste, Vine Tomatoes

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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