I have mentioned before that Rick’s Picks were the inspiration for the smokey pickled okra. I used quick pickling techniques and did a test of the spices to see how they would work out. Early marketing research, umm, sitting around the dock side table at the sailing club, proved to be great. I got to open a quart jar of the smokey okra pickles two times before they were entirely gone. Everyone was remarkably surprised how the smokey paprika paired well with the okra. It’s a great food paring, the smokey okra will be a great accompaniment to burgers, bar-b-que, or even steak. It should work very will with a slightly chilled summer pinot.
Here is the recipe that I adapted from No Recipes. I think I’ve made enough changes to call it my own. I’ve also increased the amounts of spices and changed the pickling methods a bit as well.
Yesterday, Robin and I purchased 2.5 gallons of okra from a sweet lady on the square with AmerAsain Farms. Her English is quite good, and when she saw me eyeing her okra, she looked at me and smiled and said, “Oh! you again!” Apparently she remembers me from earlier in the summer when I had my eye on her cucumbers. She had asked me if I wanted one of her flats of cucumbers, and I said that I wanted “all of them”. Yesterday, we negotiated, and I left with all the okra she had picked earlier that day.
I washed and scrubbed the okra in the sink and removed all the little tendrils from the around the top of the seed pod. I tried sorting them to make packing them in a jar easier but soon discovered that I had a huge pile of okra and that they would have to sorted as we placed them in jars.
After some reading over at Food in Jars-A canning blog, I have pretty much decided that one of the easiest ways to make pickles is to heat the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, until it dissolves in a pot and it just barely simmers then add the spices to the sterilized canning jars with the okra. Pour the hot brine over the mix and then process in a rolling boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
With this recipe you can make as little or as much as you like.
Smokey Okra Recipe( this will make enough to brine two pints of okra)
1 T Pickling salt
1 T sugar
1 Cup vinegar
This represents the basic brine, you can ramp up the ingredients and make as many pints as you want.
Tightly pack as many okra as you can in a pint jar, its important to pack them as tightly as possible as they have an tendency to be buoyant.
Add to each jar
1/2 t whole hot mustard seeds
1/2 t whole pepper corns
1/2 t cayenne or more if you please
1 T smoked paprika
1/4 t ground cumin
1 garlic clove, smashed
Using sterilized jars, pack the okra and spices, then pour hot brine over the top leaving 1/2 inch head space. Clean the rims, apply new lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and wait about 2 weeks to enjoy.