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Sudanese Potatoes -Batatis - with okra, rice and salad

First we collected his farm's summer bounty from the basement. What do we have here? Beautiful small potatoes (the perfect size and shape for batatis), shallots and garlic.

He got this okra from the store, but tells me he grows it in Maine no problem with help from a black tarp. Look how beautiful those peeled potatoes are! Like mini suns.

Okay, now lets get cookin'. Saute onions in oil.

Add the beef and let cook until onions disappear

We'll add garlic, peeled, chopped, and smashed with the bottom of the glass to really get those oils flowing.

Add tomato paste, oregano, cook, and then cover beef with water. I'm kind of snobby about bouillion - why use it? - but he told me that they used it because beef was too expensive. It was a way to get good flavor when you couldn't afford meat. Here's how it's lookin'.

Divide the sauce into two pots - one for the potatoes, and one for the okra.

Add peeled potatoes to one...

... and Sliced okra to the other.

When he was living in Egypt, John picked up this great salad trick: marinate shaved onions in white vinegar, water, and lots of salt and pepper. Let sit while you cook and then top the salad with them.

I was surprised that he'd use arugula for the salad in Sudan. It's too expensive here this time of year. He'll grow it for his family and his farmer's market stand this summer.