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Freshie Faves: Yankee pickles with a real kick!

Most great food finds start humbly in somebody’s mother’s kitchen. And Rick’s Picks is a testimony to that. Rick spent a great deal of time with his family in Vermont pickling up a storm. As a grown-up Rick enjoyed a profession in film and TV but could not forget the pickles of his youth. Now that pickling is his full time gig, Rick put forth considerable effort in constructing some pretty distinct flavor mashups like Phat Beets, Mean Beans and Smokra. You can find all these on aisle 2.

It’s the Smokra that really caught my attention. I went through an intense smoked paprika food phase so I was very intrigued how this would all turn out. Accompanying my favorite spice in this little jar is cider vinegar, garlic, curry powder, mustard seed, a dash of chile flakes and cayenne peppers.  Don’t fret if you tend to walk on the mild side. These chile combinations are full flavored but not burn your face off kind of heat. These vinegary veggies are a knockout healthy snack and a showstopper on an appetizer plate.

While closely inspecting the label, I noticed Rick’s suggestion to roll the Smokra within a slice of prosciutto. It did not take me long to make a dash to Charcuterie to try out this pairing. I’m happy to report that it is a divine marriage of flavors. The Spanish smoked paprika imparts a deep smoldering finish that is complimented by the rich fats of the prosciutto and sharp cider vinegar.  Whoa, these are good.

I also stumbled upon a Smokra Deviled Egg recipe from his web site, and I thought I would share with you!

Smokra Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, cooled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup Smokra, finely chopped
1 Tbs Smokra brine
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp yellow mustard
3-4 pieces Rick’s Picks Smokra, cut into 24 – 1/8-inch rounds for garnish

Slice whole, peeled eggs length-wise. Remove egg yolks and put into a bowl. Arrange whites cut-side up on a serving plate or tray. Add mayonnaise, chopped Smokra and brine into the bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and ground pepper.  Spoon the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites and garnish with a slice of Smokra. You can also use a large star tip and pastry bag to pipe filling into the egg white.