A Little Creole On the Prairie

Today wasn't bad for a Sunday. I slept in a bit, did a tiny bit of cleaning, made some groceries (as we say in New Orleans), and made a run to one of my favorite yarn stores, The Studio.

They have a great selction of natural fibers and very friendly staff. More than makes up for the fact that their air conditioner was barely working today, with temps in the high 90's. I picked up another skein of the Noro that I was working on 2 weeks ago and kept frogging, some more Beatrice and Lamb's Pride Extra Bulky in a grey colorway for a man's scarf, and some more Beatrice and a beautiful orchid color silk/merino that coordinates with it for my SIL's scarf (or maybe for me if I fall in love with it). This'll keep me busy for a couple of weeks. And I've had my stash fix for the week so I'm a happy Knitter!

Then I broke out my beautiful new skillet and got to work cooking up this stuff:

Here is the recipe. It's really easy, extremely healthy and delicious too.

Creole Summer Stew

1 lb fresh okra, sliced into 1/4" wheels
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 large, firm tomato, diced (remove seeds)
2 ears fresh sweet corn, cut off cob
1 1/2 lb very lean ground beef
2 TBLS garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
1 TBLS Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning (use more for a hotter dish)
1/4 tsp thyme
1 large bay leaf
2 Abita Turbo Dog beers (or substitute)
salt and pepper to taste

Pour approximately 1 cup beer into a large skillet, add okra and 1/2 Tony's seasoning and bring to a lively simmer. Simmer okra for 30 minutes, stirring often. It will look gooey - don't worry, just keep cooking. Drain okra into colander and rinse until the sliminess is gone. Raise the temperature of stove, add 1/2 cup Turbo Dog to skillet and saute onions and peppers until the onions are transluscent. Add meat, 1 TBLS garlic powder and cook until the meat is browned. Add the corn, tomatoes and rest of seasonings and beer. Stir well, lower the heat so mixture is simmering, cover loosely and cook down, approximately 30 minutes. Drink the other Turbo Dog while waiting. Eat it alone or serve over rice. Serves 6-8.

Here it is cooking.
Even C (aka "Yankee-Boy") liked it! And I was satisfied by my taste of home. And who would of thought that okra grows on the prairie? By the way, for you who may be okra-haters, this is also a great way to cook mirlitons (chayote) or zucchini. You can also substitute chicken or shrimp for the beef.

>And what is a good meal without good music? We listened to the new CD by Elvis Costello and Allan Toissant, "The River In Reverse". I cannot recommend this highly enough. I could listen to Elvis Costello's voice singing anything, 24/7/12. But to hear him singing New Orleans R&B, with killer backup is to die and go to funk heaven. The perfect CD for a lazy, hot and humid summer evening, dining on perfectly spiced Creole food, sipping some dark and smoky Abita beer, just being with the ones you love. With stuff this good, it's easy to feel at home in my little corner of the prairie.

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