Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pickled Okra

I can't believe I didn't capture this recipe last year when I first made it. Pronouncing that "I had become a Southern woman of a certain age," I actually canned last summer. Chow chow like the other half's grandmother used to make. And these delicious little bites.

But when I went to do it again THIS summer, I couldn't find my recipe. No worries. I recreated it...just as delicious. If not better. So impressive that I'm thinking about sending a couple of jars over to the judges at the Great State Fair of Texas.

Pickled Okra
Makes 4 pints. (Although you'll want to make at least a double batch to share with friends and family.)

2 pounds okra (I like a mix of sizes...full-size to serve as a Bloody Mary garnish and also little buds that can be eaten in one fell swoop alongside a sandwich.)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
Dried hot Thai chiles (1 or 2 per jar depending on how spicy you want things.)
4 peeled garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh dill
4 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4 cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Soak okra in water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt and stir to dissolve. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain and rinse the okra and blot dry with paper towels.

Prepare 4 pint jars and lids for canning.

Pack the okra into the jars. Add peppers (1 or 2), 1 clove garlic, 1 dill sprig, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, and 1 teaspoon peppercorns in each jar.

In a large pot, combine vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, reduce to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the hot brine over the packed okra until it is 1/4 inch below the rim of the jars. Seal and process in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. (Or refrigerate if you're going to use quickly.)

Let stand for one week before using.

Will keep for 1 year if processed. 6 months if simply refrigerated.

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