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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crispy Baked Okra

If you love fried okra like me, but are trying to avoid fried foods, then this recipe provides a nice alternative. It turns out so delightfully crispy.

Crispy Baked Okra
1 #         Okra
2 c         Cornmeal
2 c         Panko
2 tsp      Paprika
to taste  Salt and Pepper
3 c         Buttermilk (if you do not have buttermilk on hand, 2 eggs whisked with milk will work.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Trim the stem ends off of the okra, then chop into 1/2 inch long pieces. Pour buttermilk over okra. Whisk together dry ingredients. Using a slotted spoon. Scoop out the okra, allowing the excess buttermilk to drain off. Place okra into cornmeal/panko mixture and toss to coat. Place okra onto a sheet pan, after shaking off any excess breading. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Halfway through the baking process, use a metal spatula to stir the okra to keep it from sticking to the pan.

Crispy baked okra can make a fun appetizer. They are so easy to snack on. So, here is an accompanying sauce idea. This recipe is incredibly flexible. Feel free to adjust the chili garlic paste and lemon juice to suite your spicy, tangy preferences.

Chili Dipping Sauce 
1 c        Sour Cream
2 Tbs    Mayo
2 tsp     Chili Garlic Paste (i.e., Sriracha)
2 Tbs    Lemon Juice
to taste Salt

In a bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth.