Creole Okra & Prawns
The term Creole shows up whenever the cultures of Indigenous populations, Africans and Spanish/French conquistadors come together, as they did in the Caribbean, parts of Louisiana and Latin America.
This tasty Creole dish is my favorite and was my mother’s specialty. My mother and Auntie Loretta did not use fish, but my version of the classic recipe has made my guest and family coming back for more.
I like using red snapper because it gives the dish a delicious rhythmic “Tonitafied” flavor. The dish was made often in our house and has many versions depending on the cook. Once, I started making Tonita’s Sweet Vine Cuban Sauce, I am always asked to bring a jar or two of the spicy over to cut down on the time it normally takes to chop and dice the fresh ingredients for the sauce.
½ pound fresh okra, washed, trimmed, and cut into ½ inch slices or frozen cut okra
10 ounces frozen or fresh corn
juice 1/2 lemon
1-pound large prawns, shelled and deveined
1-pound small shrimp
4 fish fillets, snapper, halibut, or perch, cut into medium size pieces.
1 package turkey sausage, casing removed and sliced into bite size
2 bay leaves
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped in large pieces
½ onion, chopped into large pieces
1-16 ounce jar Tonita’s Spicy Sweet Vine Cuban Sauce, mild or spicy
3-4 tablespoons of oil
- If using fresh okra, soak about 30 minutes in cold water with the lemon juice to remove any gumminess or stir fry in 3-4 tablespoons of grape seed oil and drain.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until translucent. Stir in the sausage and cook over low heat.
- Remove the sausage to a plate and set aside for later.
- Add okra to skillet, stirring well. After about 3-5 minutes, add the corn, stirring continuously. Pour in the jar of sauce.
- Return sausage back into the skillet on medium heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the seafood, fish, prawns and shrimp, all in 3-minute intervals stirring in between. Let it simmer again on low heat about 5-8 minutes. If you need to add some liquid put ½ cup of water or broth. Seafood will look pink when done.
- Serve dish on top of rice.