less than 30 mins
30 mins to 1 hour
A vegetarian take on the gumbo that combines authentic okra with trendy sweet potato. Serve with sweet cornbread muffins.
For the cornbread muffins, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
In a bowl, mix together the polenta, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour until well combined.
Add the milk, beaten eggs and creamed corn and mix until well combined. Add the chillies and stir to combine.
Spoon the cornbread batter mixture into the wells of a 12-hole muffin tin. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until risen and cooked through.
Meanwhile, for the sweet potato gumbo, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, chillies and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
Mix together the salt, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, white pepper and bay leaf until well combined. Add to the pan and stir well to coat the vegetables. Continue to fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the spices are fragrant.
Add the beef or vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, and okra and bring the mixture to the boil.
Add the sweet potato cubes and shredded cabbage and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender.
To serve, spoon the gumbo into the centre of each of six serving plates. Butter the cornbread muffins and place one or two alongside each serving.
By Lorraine Pascale
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