Baked Polenta with Cheese and Okra

Photo: Charles Walton; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr
Recipe from Southern Living

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 6 small fresh okra pods
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed*

Preparation

  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add okra, and cook 10 minutes. Remove okra with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid in pan; cool okra slightly, and coarsely chop.
  2. Add remaining 2 cups water to reserved liquid; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in grits and salt; return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot grits into eggs; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in butter. Stir in okra and cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes or until set.
  4. *2 (4-ounce) logs fresh goat cheese, crumbled, may be substituted for Cheddar cheese.
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