Okra Stew

Okra Stew

* 3 lbs. chopped okra
* 1 lb. shrimp (de-veined & shelled)
* 1 lb. ham
* 1 lb. smoked sausage
* 2 14.5 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes
* 1 6oz. can tomato paste
* 2 cups chopped yellow onions
* 6 cloves garlic
* 1 6oz. can tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 bay leaves
* ½ tsp. dried oregano
* ½ tsp. dried thyme
* ½ tsp. dried basil
* ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 cups chicken stock or water

You must sweat the okra using the following process:

* In a large sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. 
* Add okra, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 
* Uncover and stir. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. 
* Uncover and stir. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. 
* Uncover bring fire to medium high heat and continue to turn okra with a spatula until all slime is burned off. i.e., when you turn with spatula and you see no slime strains. (This process may take 10 or 15 minutes) 
   
* Add ham, smoked sausage, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, dried oregano, thyme, basil, pepper flakes and 2 cups chicken stock (or water). Simmer for 20 minutes in uncovered pan. 
* Add shrimp and cook for 10 minutes until shrimp turn pink.

Serve over white rice