Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Homesick Texan: Okra Baked with Bacon

If you have a long history of cooking and reading cookbooks, you get pretty good at being able to tell how a recipe is going to turn out.  And this leads to a lot less disappointments when dinnertime comes along.  Unfortunately, I ignored the little voice in my head that was telling me that nothing "fried" in the oven ever comes out crispy.  I just knew that this would be the recipe that would prove me wrong.  I mean, 400°F!  That's a lot of heat!  Yeah, no.  While this okra certainly tastes good (thank you, bacon), it's just not crispy.  At all.  Plan for next time:  fry the darn things in bacon fat.

Okra Baked with Bacon
Adapted from Homesick Texan blog and the Fort Worth Star Telegram

1 cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 to 7 drops Tabasco sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh okra, washed, dried and cut into ½-inch rounds
6 strips uncooked bacon, diced

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce or cayenne; close and shake to combine. Add the okra pieces and shake to coat the okra in the cornmeal mixture.

Arrange okra in prepared baking dish in two layers. Top with bacon. Bake for 20 minutes; stir lightly to make sure all pieces come into contact with the bacon. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more, until the bacon is browned and the okra is crispy on the outside.

Makes 6 servings

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