I’ll confess, there were some pretty big whoops around the TV last night when the New York Giants pulled off their upset Super Bowl victory. John’s from NYC, so you know, a no-brainer for him… My stepdaughter and I were just a teensy bit swayed by the Tom Brady Cuteness factor, but I was glad for such an exciting game and to see John and Nathan so jazzed. Homemade pizza and a win, sheesh, the Super Bowl was actually fun this year, I can’t remember the last time I thought that! (As in, never?)
Tonight, it’s all quiet again; in fact I dined solo, so (naturally) took the opportunity to whip up a few of my favorite tasties – particularly those that no one else in the fam particularly enjoys…
I’ve been flipping through a gorgeous new cookbook, The Gift of Southern Cooking, by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, so was inspired to whip up some grits (I often make grits/polenta when I’m cooking just for myself) to enjoy alongside a simple saute of okra, tomatoes, onion, and a bit of bacon (recipe posted in comments, below). Deeeelicious. Keep this dish in mind this summer, when there are both just-picked okra and perfectly ripe tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Fresh sweet corn would be a delicious addition. Or perhaps that’s gilding the lily – you decide. The dish is completely successful in the winter as well – just choose grape cherry tomatoes (sweet even in the winter), and unblemished, plump okra (skip if they’re shriveled).
This Yankee lurves me some okra. And grits. And cracklins, biscuits, fried chicken, braised greens, pork in every iteration, black-eyed peas, sweet iced tea, and most likely crayfish, too, if I had access. Yeeeeehaw!
Miss Edna Lewis is an amazing woman and cook. She's a rock star! I'll check it out, thanks.
I am a filmmaker in Atlanta. I read your latest blog with the mention of Edna Lewis and her recipes.
I just wanted to let you know I produced a 21 minute documentary about Miss Edna Lewis and its viewable in its entirety on Internet at a Gourmet Magazine website:
and at a Georgia Public Broadcasting website:
My documentary is called Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie.
My website, http://bbarash.com/index.htm has more information about the film and the story of Miss Lewis.
Oooh, I love that southern sweet tea! And grits! Yeeehaaw!
Saute of Tomatoes and Okra with Bacon
Adapted from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Louis & Scott Peacock
Author’s note: this simple summer sauté is full of flavor, and color. The okra should be just tender and bright green, the onion cooked but still a bit crunchy, and the tomatoes just warmed through, with a very fresh taste. This is a nice way to use the different heirloom tomatoes from your own garden or varieties that you can find at a farmers’ markets, but any ripe, juicy garden tomato would be delicious.
5 slices bacon, diced
4 c. okra, washed, trimmed, and sliced ½-inch thick (about 1 lb.)
1 large onion, cut into 1/3-inch wedges
½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 medium heirloom or garden tomatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges (about 2 ½ cups)
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Add the sliced okra to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add the onion wedges, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking, still stirring, for 5 minutes. Toss in the tomato wedges, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, partially covered, just until tomatoes are heated through, 3-4 minutes. Carefully taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Serve warm.