If you have never cooked with okra, this recipe is a great place to start -- and if you already love okra, then this a good recipe to add to your rotation. If you can't find double-smoked bacon, regular bacon will suffice. —thirschfeld
shrimp, raw, peeled, and deveined
okra, tops removed and sliced about 1/8-inch thick
bacon, diced (I prefer double-smoked bacon)
Salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
garlic, sliced thinly
3 to 4 tomatoes, peeled and crushed with your hand or diced-reserve with juices and then add enough water to make 2 cups
Chop all of your ingredients before beginning to cook.
Place the rice into a heavy-bottomed, 3 1/2 quart enameled Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the bay leaf.
Add the water and place the pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Take note: the heat should be turned down to whatever the lowest heat setting on your stove is. Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for another 20 minutes (I set a timer).
Meanwhile, cook the stew. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and begin to render the fat.
Once the fat begins to release, add the okra. Season the okra with salt and pepper. Stir the okra as it cooks, taking note of the gelatinous strings that chase your spoon around the pan. Let the okra cook until the strands begin to dissipate and the okra becomes soft.
Add the garlic and red chile flakes to the pan. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add the butter and let it melt, then add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until it becomes pink, then add the tomato. Stir everything together to combine, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the thyme and half of the parsley. Let the shrimp finish cooking and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the parsley.