Friday, September 14, 2012

Garlic Shells with Roasted Okra.

This is a great meal if you only have around a half hour to cook.

Last night after work I planned a little Italian dinner before watching the Packer Bears game. Go Pack Go! If you have ever tried Okra it was probably deep fried with butter on top. I noticed a lot of okra at the farmers market last weekend so I thought I would make some. My mom always made this delicious recipe with beef cubes and tomatoes with Okra when I was younger but I was looking for something a little bit more simple. So here it is... you can't get much more simple then this. The larger pieces were a bit chewier (probably because they could have been cooked a tad longer) but the small pieces were perfect and almost tasted like french fries. So yes, here is a good french fry substitute, and much healthier! Oh and if you didn't watch the game, the packers won. 

Roasted Okra

What you need:
- 18 fresh Okra Pods, sliced 1/3 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (they absorb oil quickly, use more if needed)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the okra slices in one layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy. 

You can store these in the fridge for a few days and either heat or eat cold for a snack.

I also made shells with a garlic based pasta sauce. Here is the recipe if you choose to use homemade breadcrumbs, I just used boxed ones since I had them. To do this: Skip the oven part and just add the breadcrumbs after the oil and garlic has cooled a little.

Shells with Garlic-y Breadcrumbs

What you need:
- 1 slice day-old white bread, torn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces uncooked shells (or pasta of choice...)
- 1/4 cup fresh or dry parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place bread in a food processor, pulse 10 times or until coarse. Place breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and back for 30 minutes or until dry. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Return pan to heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Cook 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cook pasta and place in a large bowl adding the mixture, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss gently and serve.  

*** I added a teaspoon of roasted red pepper flakes and basil for some extra flavor***

We are heading to a Twins game tonight to kick off birthday plans for Damian! Hope you have a great weekend.