Our lives right now are tomatoes, zucchini, and the dog. Cooking. Walks. Living at home, with a few trips each week to the supermarket. Watching coverage of the flooding and rescues in Texas and Louisiana. Now they say there's a new, powerful hurricane heading toward Cuba and southern Florida. Weather forecasting models have it moving up the U.S. East Coast toward North Carolina, where my mother and sister and other family members live.
So we'll just go about our quiet life here and stay in touch with events on the other side of the Atlantic. In between, there's a lot of water and a lot of weather. It somehow seems appropriate that we cooked and had a lunch of fish and tomatoes yesterday. It was based on a standard southern U.S. recipe called "okra and tomatoes" (photo above).
It's pretty simple. Fry some bacon or smoked pork lardons in a sauté pan. Add and let cook a couple of sliced or chopped onions until they are soft and slightly browned. Chop up four fresh tomatoes and add them to the pan, with any juice they release in the chopping process. When the tomatoes have started cooking down, add a dozen or so fresh okra, sliced into small pieces, or about half a pound of frozen sliced okra. (If you don't have or like okra, this would be good made with green beans...)
The okra will release a liquid that, combined with the slightly acidic and slightly sweet tomato liquid, will make a nice velvety sauce. When the okra is tender, add (optionally) a small can of corn kernels, or some frozen corn (which I've never seen here in France). We had a few small cans of Géant Vert (Green Giant) "extra crunchy" corn down in the pantry, so I opened one.
Cook the vegetables and bacon or lardons together on medium to medium-low heat until the sauce has reduced and thickened to your taste. Don't forget salt and pepper, and pinches of hot red pepper flakes, dried thyme, and ground cumin can add nice flavors too.
When the vegetables are nearly ready to serve, lay half a dozen fish filets, fresh or frozen, on top of the mixture, cover the sauté pan, and let the fish just steam through. Keep an eye on it so that the fish doesn't get overcooked. Serve the fish and vegetables with rice if you want.