UPDATE, AUGUST 28, 2013: DO NOT USE THIS RECIPE AS IS. DUE TO NEW INFORMATION I HAVE RECEIVED I NO LONGER RECOMMEND THIS RECIPE. PLEASE READ THIS POST FOR NEW INFORMATION.
A few years ago, I was given a recipe for canning okra. This okra is supposed to be good for frying. I was very, very skeptical. I asked how you could can okra without it being really slimy and yucky or tasting like vinegar. The lady that gave me the recipe said she had the same doubts and questions, but found out it works great. Since we are trying to decrease our dependence on the freezer, this is the summer to try this canning recipe.
1 gallon sliced okra
2 tbsp. salt
6 tbsp. vinegar
1 cup water
Prepare jars, lids and rings. Place okra in a large pan. Mix vinegar, salt and water together. Pour over okra. Fill pan with enough water to cover okra. Bring to a full boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Fill jars with okra. Pour enough liquid in jars to cover okra. Seal. No hot water bath. Just have everything hot and the liquid boiling. Put the rings on tight, cover with a towel and let them cool slowly and seal.
Now, I can't say it looks very appetizing in the jar. It's kind of cloudy and slimy looking to me. And the boiling made the okra a pale green color. My comment - looks yucky. We did two quarts initially as an experiment. We waited two weeks before we cooked up the first quart. Then waited another two weeks and cooked up the second quart.
When you're ready to try it, pour it into a colander, rinse well, drain.
Since the okra is wet, it takes a little more cornmeal than fresh.
We don't deep fry our okra. We use just enough oil to keep it from sticking. When it first starts to fry it doesn't look very good. The pale color is odd and it is softer than I expected.
But as it cooked, it started to look like 'normal' fried okra. I wondered if the vinegar used during canning would change the flavor.
Guess what? It is good. It is even better than the frozen we put up last summer. When you fry up frozen okra it is a little tough and chewy. The canned okra was more moist and has a very good flavor. This was a very nice surprise.
Sometimes it pays to be a little skeptical and cautious, but not to the point that it precludes trying new things. You never know when something new you try may be of great benefit to you or someone you know. Especially something that tastes good!
Until next time - Fern