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Okra – So Southern – So Misunderstood

I enjoy visiting our local farmers market every weekend.  The vegetables and fruits are so delicious and when I visited on Saturday, I knew I needed a vegetable for Sunday lunch.  Okra is really in season right now in our gardens and it seemed every vendor had okra.  I purchased okra for our Sunday lunch and realized when I returned home that I did not want fried okra.  I started going through my recipe books to find a recipe for something different using okra.

First of all, in defense of okra, yes it can be slimy.  If you will steam okra in the whole pod, it is very good and it doesn’t become so slimy.  I also love to cook okra on top of a pot of green beans, lima beans or crowder peas.  Okra is rich in fiber and has about 3 grams of fiber in 2/3 cup.  It is good in gumbo and delicious in soups.  It is delicious fried and a southern favorite.

I found the recipe I am sharing with you today and tried it.  First of all, in writing this blog I will never let you think that I am the perfect cook and everything comes out perfect.  Today I am sharing this with you and I am going to tell you what I did wrong.  Will I ever make this again?  Absolutely.

Okra-Onion Casserole

2 cups sliced Okra

1 small onion chopped

1 cup buttered breadcrumbs, divided  ( I had not idea what buttered bread crumbs were so keep reading and I will explain)

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 egg beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients except 1/4 cup buttered breadcrumbs.  ( From my searches on the internet, I have determined that you melt butter in a saucepan and add breadcrumbs and cook for a few minutes which makes them toastier)

Spoon into a lightly greased 1 and 1/2 quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with reserved buttered breadcrumbs, and bake five additional minutes.  Yield:  4 Servings.

If you can share more insight into buttered breadcrumbs, I would appreciate a response.  However, I will butter my breadcrumbs the next time and then put them in this casserole. The casserole was dry and I think it was because I used dry bread crumbs instead of buttered bread crumbs.  The taste of this was great and it reminded me of a corn bread dressing type texture with okra in it.  I really could not taste the cheese or the onion specifically but the blending of flavors was excellent.

Do you like okra and have a special recipe you use for this wonderful vegetable?  It is one of my summer favorites.

So does that mean I am Southern because of love Okra, slime and all.  I certainly hope so.

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