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The CIA Cookbook
by The Culinary Institute of America
Okra, A member of the hibiscus family, has not been welcomed with open arms in most parts of the country. Its most familiar "home" is in gumbo—the word comes from the Angolan term for okra, ngombo. Okra is itself a variant of the term used for it by natives from Ghana, nkruma.
Makes 4 servings



• 1 lb fresh small okra pods
• 2 strips smoked bacon, diced
• 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth or water
• 1 cup onion julienne
• 3 to 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Rinse the okra, trim away the caps, and slice about 1/2 inch thick. Reserve.

2. Combine the diced bacon with 1/4 cup of the broth or water in a skillet and set the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the water has cooked away and the bacon has released some of its fat, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the onion to the skillet, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is a deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Add the sliced okra, the remaining broth or water, and the tomatoes. Cover the skillet and re- duce the heat to low. Cook gently, stirring from time to time and adding a little additional broth or water, if necessary, for about 15 minutes (or longer if you prefer the okra quite soft).

5. Season the mixture generously with pepper. Add salt to taste.


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