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Smoked spices take pickles to a whole new flavor level, lending a smoky note to the pickling liquid. In this recipe, curry powder and spices smoked on the stovetop make for unforgettable cucumber and strawberry pickles.
To smoke spices: Spread 1 cup fine mesquite wood chips in cast-iron skillet. Heat on high heat about 10 minutes or until wood chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low. Place small rack on top of wood chips. Spread seasonings in small shallow disposable aluminum pan or foil muffin baking cup. Place pan on baking rack. Cover skillet with lid. (In order to keep the smoke in, lid should cover skillet tightly. If necessary, place aluminum foil over skillet first then cover with lid.) Reduce heat to low. Smoke 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 1 hour or until cooled. Storage Tip: Store pickles in covered glass or plastic bowl, ceramic container or glass jars in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.