This past week I strolled through our gardens, surprised at those vegetables still giving despite our recent triple digit temperatures. I snapped off okra pods, pulled black-eyed peas at the green bean stage, and came back up to the house to make dinner.
I made gumbo earlier this summer when our okra was a bit more prolific. It was my first go-round with this spicy, tasty dish and I was blown away. Where had gumbo been all my life? We served it over rice and it was wonderful.
But this night I had plans to make fried rice. The rice was cooling and I had some garlic and ginger in mind. That okra reminded me of those delicious flavors of gumbo – paprika, thyme, garlic, and cayenne. Fried up with rice, grass-fed beef, and those garden veggies; we were smitten with this fusion of flavors.
And I’m hoping you will be too.
Course: Side Dishes
- 1⁄3 cup coconut oil or lard
- 1 lb okra or green beans or a combination
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 lb ground beef chicken, sausage, or some combination
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups cooked and cooled rice
- 1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 10 dashes hot sauce plus more to pass at the table
- Salt to taste
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat coconut oil or lard over high heat. Chop okra, green beans, carrots, celery, and onions and add to pan. Stir-fry several for approximately five minutes or until they begin to soften. Add meat and cook until browned and nearly cooked through.
- Sprinkle in paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and stir into meat-vegetable mixture. Add the cooked and cooled rice and stir thoroughly to combine, allowing it to heat through. Stir in apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and salt to taste.
- Serve with a bottle of hot sauce and a side salad.