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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fried Pickles with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Delicious Fried Pickles

I don't know what came over me the other day, but I decided that for lunch we'd need to eat fried pickles.  Last summer at Outside Lands Bob and I ate some seriously delicious fried pickles from Frickles Pickles.  After having Frickles we made sure to order fried pickles whenever we'd see them on a menu but they just weren't the same, so finally I took matters into my own hands.  

We decided we wanted a spicy cornmeal fry, so I did a little research and then decided that I could make it up myself based on everything I'd read.  It was so easy, so delicious and so satisfying.  

Let's take a minute to talk about frying.  I use a large iron pot (5 qt) for frying.  I've used this same pot to fry donuts.  In other words, you don't need a deep fryer or really anything fancy to fry food.  Another thing you need to know about frying is that you want to bring the oil up to temperature slowly - this will give you the best chance of keeping a regular heat/temp while frying your items.  And finally, remember it's hot!  Be careful!  But don't worry, if I can do it then you can do it.

What you'll need:

Pickles (I used a jar of Dill oval chips 24oz)
Cornmeal 3/4 cup
Flour 1/4 cup
Spicy seasoning (I used Old Bay) 1 tsp
More spicy seasoning (And Angelo's BBQ Beef Seasoning) 1 tsp
Buttermilk 1/2 cup
Vegetable Oil (enough to have 3 inches of oil in your pan)

Tools you'll need:

A large pot to fry your pickles
Tongs (or chop sticks if you're really awesome at using them, or a large strainer with a handle)
A thermometer to monitor your oil temp. (I use my candy thermometer, it's awesome.)
2 bowls
A large plate/cutting board/etc covered with a paper towel for your pickles to cool on. (I used my cutting board.)

In your first bowl put your pickles and buttermilk, along with some salt and pepper, just for a little seasoning.  In your second bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, and spicy seasoning(s).   This is when you'll want to decide how spicy you want your pickles to be.  I put in a bit more than what I've put in the recipe, and I could have added a couple of tablespoons more for a good kick.

Move your pickles from the buttermilk to the cornmeal mixture in batches.  Make sure you completely coat the pickles in the cornmeal mixture.  After your pickles are all coated go ahead and start frying!

Pickles sitting in buttermilk.

Pickles after being coated in cornmeal mixture.

In my 5 qt pot I fried about 10 pickles at a time.  This gave all the pickles enough room to fully fry.  It doesn't take very long to fry pickles, just watch them and when they start to turn a little goldeny go ahead and scoop them out.  (It's about 30 seconds.)  Be very careful adding and removing your pickles, oil is hot and can be splattery.  Also keep your eye on your thermometer because you don't want the oil getting to hot or too cold.

And then ta-da! About 5 minutes later you'll have delicious fried pickles.

We enjoyed our fried pickles with tzatziki sauce mixed with siracha and it was fantastic.

Fried pickles on the cooling rack.

We tried frying zucchini the same way the following day, and it wasn't as good.  The zucchini didn't pick up as much cornmeal, and the flavor was just off.  I'll have to figure out something else for our zucchini fries.


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