Coming from the Big Easy, we bring a Creole okra, tomato stew packed with big flavors and big nutrients.
But what exactly is Creole cuisine? We explore the history of the Big Easy then take you on a flavor trip with a Creole tomato okra stew recipe!
Exploring Creole Cuisine
New Orleans parents two unique cuisines, Creole and Cajun, often used interchangeably. While these styles of cooking have similarities, they are not synonymous.
According to Louisiana Travel, the distinct difference between the two titles this very recipe:
Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and proper Cajun food does not. That being said, the tomato okra stew is inherently Creole cuisine, as it is prepared with diced tomatoes.
While the tomatoes are a major highlight in this Creole recipe, the addition of okra should not be overlooked. Okra is a member of the mallow family and related to cotton, hibiscus, and hollyhock. It is also known as ladies' fingers due to its unique elongated shape and gombo, or gumbo, making it arguably the most important ingredient in gumbo.
No matter what it is chosen to be called, okra became a New Orleans staple after the 17th century. Fresh okra is mostly in season from summer through early fall, though canned and frozen okra is found year-round.
In terms of preparation, fried okra tends to be the most popular way to prepare and enjoy the vegetable. However, okra can be pickled, roasted, and stewed as well.
So without further ado, the recipe for tomato okra stew!
Tomato Okra Stew Recipe
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition per serving: 70 calories, 2 g fat, 2 g protein, 12 g total carb, 3 g fiber
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 1, 16-oz package okra, frozen
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 sweet onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1, 16-oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste
• 1/2 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1/4 tsp cayenne
• Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Then add tomato paste and cook another minute longer.
2. Add tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and cayenne, as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Stir and then simmer for 5 minutes over medium-high heat to reduce slightly.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add the okra, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until okra is tender and heated through.