I normally associate comfort food with cooler days. But when I ran across this recipe for smothered okra and tomatoes with shrimp and andouille in a recent issue of Louisiana Kitchen Culture I had to make it. Even though it was a hot day, it so hit the spot that I found myself unable to stop eating it. The sauce is really the star. It’s a wonderful mix of roasted okra, tomatoes, onions and peppers and my favorite, andouille sausage. Add in shrimp and you’ve got something truly delicious.
The key to making smothered okra and tomatoes with shrimp and andouille is the tomatoes. The recipe called for San Marzano tomatoes, and I didn’t stray from the suggestion. They have less seeds than regular plum tomatoes and are far less acidic. The flesh of San Marzano tomatoes is also thicker, making for a sauce that is definitely not runny. It’s perfect.
Smothered Okra and Tomatoes with Shrimp and Andouille
- 1/2 cup water
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 1 pound sliced fresh okra or frozen, defrosted
- Creole seasoning to taste
- Olive oil to taste
- 1 cup sweet onion finely chopped
- 1 cup green bell pepper finely chopped
- 4 ounces Andouille sausage diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 28 ounce Whole stewed tomatoes San Marzano are best
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake or more, to taste
- 1 dash Asian fish sauce
- 2 green onions sliced, for garnish
- Hot cooked rice
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Whisk together the water, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the okra with a good amount of Creole seasoning and some oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes, turning once, until starting to brown. Remove.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and sausage and cook until the onions and pepper start to soften, about 10 minutes. Note: If using pre-cooked andouille, cook the vegetables for 8 minutes then add the sausage to brown.
Add the garlic. .Stir and saute for 2 more minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste until it dissolves.
Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl. Squeeze them through your fingers to shred, removing any hard cores. Pour into the saucepan and stir
Add the bay leaves, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and red pepper flake. Stir. If too thick add a bit of water but not too much. You want the sauce to be somewhat thick.
Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the okra and a splash or two of the fish sauce.
Add the shrimp AND the brine it was in and stir. Saute another 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and done.
Serve hot over rice garnished with green onions.
Fresh andouille sausage is best but if you cannot find fresh pre-cooked is fine too. If you can't find andouille at all substitute hot Italian sausage instead.
Once I let the idea of Salisbury steak get into my head, it wasn’t going to go away. I was jonesin’ bad for that mix of beef and pork and my favorite, the brown gravy. But I wasn’t going to make ‘steak’, I was going to make meatballs. And boy, oh boy, did I ever make Salisbury meatballs.
‘Tender, flavor-packed meatballs smothered in a fantastic sauce’. That’s pretty much all you have to tell me. No more convincing is required. If I read that on a menu, I’d order it. With plenty of mashed potatoes and extra gravy, too. These Salisbury meatballs were absolutely fantastic,
Also try my Salisbury steak.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 48 meatballs
For the meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 medium onion minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Vegetable oil
For the gravy
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion minced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
For the meatballs
Combine all but the vegetable oil and mix well.
Form into meatballs.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, add the meatballs and brown on each side and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and cook the remaining meatballs.
Use the skillet you use to cook the meatballs to make the gravy.
For the gravy
Add the butter to the skillet and melt.
Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the broth, cornstarch, Worcestershire and ketchup. Add to the skillet with the onions.
Reduce heat to a simmer and stir. Continue stirring until the gravy is the desired thickness.
It was one of ‘those’ days. I was just way to busy too cook up a fancy dinner. Or even a marginally fancy dinner. So, quick fix shrimp tacos to the rescue. I had everything on hand already. A box of shells, some pre-cooked frozen shrimp, a bag of salad, and spicy salad dressing. That’s all it took to make light, crunchy, tasty quick fix tacos for dinner. Nothing fru-fru, just good and fast. Ok, I did add a few tortilla strips for color and more crunch, but that’s all.
You can of course substitute soft tortilla shells if hard shells aren’t your thing, but I like the crunchy contrast. But don’t get fancy. That’s not what we’re doing here.
Also try my quick fix taco salads.
Quick Fix Shrimp Tacos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 tacos
Warm the taco shells or tortillas per package instructions.
Place the shrimp and chopped salad into a large bowl and toss to combine.
Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired.
Place the shrimp mixture into shells. Sprinkle with the tortilla strips and serve.