Stewed Okra, (Molondrones Guisados)

Meatless days... This stewed okra recipe is an excellent alternative dish for days when we opt to go meatless or for vegetarians. Okra, also known as gumbo or molondrones, is a very healthy veggie. In addition to its great taste, it has a high fiber, potassium and calcium content. I use barbecue sauce on this dish to add a smoky flavor. My favorite way to eat this stew is with boiled batata (boniato). Try it!

Stewed Okra 
1 pound okra 
⅔ juice of 3 lemons
2 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons Dominican Sazon or see notes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste or 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoon of bitter orange juice or vinegar
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce (optional)
Pinch of ground oregano
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ -1 cup water 
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the okra well, cut off both ends and discard. Proceed to cut the vegetable into ½ inch slices and place in a bowl with enough water them to cover and half of the lemon juice. Set aside for ten minutes, discard the water and rinse again. Drain well and add the remaining lemon juice and more water and let stand while you prepare other ingredients. This helps remove or minimize the viscous liquid this veggie has.

2. In a skillet heat the oil and cook the seasoning for about three minutes, then add tomato sauce, vinegar, barbecue sauce  and oregano and stir for about one minute. Add ½ cup water or to taste to make the sauce, as soon as it begins to boil, add the okra, chopped cilantro; stir and cover.

3. Cook for about 20 minutes until okra is tender and forms a sauce to your liking. Remove from heat and serve. Serve with rice, tostones, or boiled plantain, cassava or boniato.

Yield: 5 servings.

a) If you do not have natural Dominican seasoning prepared, substitute the  3 tablespoons of seasoning with:
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 mashed cloves garlic
• 1 cubanela pepper or ½ bell pepper chopped

b) You could also add okra towards the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time in a pork or chicken stew.

Esta receta en español.

 "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you." ~ Proverbs 3:27-28


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