Monday, August 1, 2011

Skillet Okra & Rice

Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Under 350 Calories
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice's Kitchen

When the weather is hot and sultry, that's a clue that it's okra season.  Here's a nice side dish to serve when okra is plentiful.  Don't overcook the okra or it will have that slimy texture that won't appeal to anyone.  Just cook it until slightly crisp tender and bright green.  I've adapted the original recipe to incorporate brown rice which will be much more healthful. Local okra can be found at Lost River Market & Deli or Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Markets.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice, rinsed well and drained
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes (you can substitute canned when out of season)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter 
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1-teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper sauce (Tabasco)
2 small bay leaves
16 oz. okra, cut into ½ inch slices

Heat oil in large skillet.  Cook rice in oil about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  Stir in onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion begins to soften.
Stir in remaining ingredients, except okra.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until rice is tender, this will take about 45 minutes.  Stir in okra.
Cover and simmer about 10 minutes longer or until okra is bright green and crisp tender.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

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