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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Whole Okra Casserole topped with Crispy Fried Onions


A wonderful way to enjoy okra, this casserole can be saucy or not. I prefer the saucy casserole as a main meal whereas this dry version pictured here makes a wonderful side.

I've tried tomato-based sauce, cheese-sauce and a combination of both, and I like the combination - more tomato flavor and a bit of cheesiness- piping hot from the oven for a cold winter night meal.

Store-bought Crispy Friend Onions works well - I get it at local Indian store - am not adventurous enough to make the fried onions from scratch.

Whole frozen okra is my preference as it is par-cooked and ready to go for a quick meal.

Ingredients
1 lb whole frozen okra, thawed
optional: cooked corn kernels, red bell peppers diced
salt to taste

for the sauce:
½ cup colby jack and mozzarella grated (or any favorite melt-y cheese)
1 cup canned tomato sauce (more or less)
¼ cup vegetable/chicken stock or water (as needed)
spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, oregano powder, smoked paprika powder (or any favorite combination)

1½ to 2 cups crispy friend onions

Preparation

  1. In a casserole dish, layer the thawed whole okra, pour the sauce and cheese, and about half the crispy friend onions, salt to taste, stir well adding water/stock as needed
  2. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes till bubbly and thick; top with rest of the crispy fried onions and bake for another 4-5 minutes till the topping browns to desired crunchiness
  3. Garnish and serve warm, adjust salt to taste





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