Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recipe: Bacon wrapped pimento cheese stuffed okra

I grew up mainly in the lowcountry of South Carolina. But because neither of my parents are Southern, I did not eat a lot of Southern cuisine when I was a kid. I probably would not have enjoyed much of it anyway because I was such a picky eater. I'm a quarter Italian and I did not even like spaghetti sauce for the longest time!

Over the years my palette has expanded greatly. One food item that I did not give a chance until a couple years ago was okra. It took living in California and having dinner with a friend from Washington state for me to try it. And it was delicious! Of course, it was the fried variety so how could that not taste good?

Fast forward to moving back to the South... We have planted our vegetable garden and I included okra. It has been growing quite nicely lately and I have amassed a lot of okra from it. I did not realize okra has such beautiful, delicate flowers.

Having never cooked it before, I searched Pinterest for some recipes. I found one that sounded perfect... bacon wrapped stuffed okra! The actual recipe calls for a shrimp filling. I'm still a picky eater; I don't eat seafood. But I was planning on making pimento cheese with our homegrown pimento peppers. Wouldn't that taste amazing stuffed inside a bacon wrapped piece of okra? I think so!

Fourth of July gave me the perfect opportunity to try this dish. It was easy to assemble and tasted FANTASTIC! It is just as good as fried okra...if not better.

For the pimento cheese, I kind of followed the recipe from Eleven Magnolia Lane. It's OK, but I've had better. I just have to find the recipe! Feel free to use your own favorite recipe or store bought (if you have to).

For the Okra, I followed the instructions from I Heart Publix. The recipe suggests using regular bacon and not thick cut bacon. I happened to have thick cut and it worked out just fine.

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