Friday, January 14, 2011

Fried Pickles

This is a favorite treat of Matt's and it only takes about 30 minutes to assemble and cook.  And if you happen to be the proud owner of stylin' fry baskets (like we are thanks to my cousin Aurelia), you can also make this treat extra festive on a random day.  If you happen to keep panko bread crumbs around your cabinet, this treat also can be made with what you have in your fridge and cabinets.  For our fried pickles, I use pickles made by my mother; specifically, dill cucumber spear pickles and spicy dill bean pickles (the skinny ones in the photo are the dill beans).  But you can use any pickles, preferably in a stick/spear/wedge shape.  I've tried frying pickle chips, but the centers get soggy almost immediately after getting out of the oil.  If you have whole cucumber pickles, just slice into spears or halves before frying.  You can eat them plain (as I like to do) or dip them in your favorite dressing or dip (Matt dips them in blue cheese dip, quelle surprise).

The process is pretty simple.  Line up 3 pie plates/cake pans, or similarly shaped vessels.  In first vessel put seasoned flour (see below).  In second vessel beat a couple eggs together until uniform.  In third vessel, place panko bread crumbs.

First, blot off extra brine from pickles, but do not blot completely dry.  Dredge pickles in flour, shake off excess flour.  Coat pickles in beaten egg.  Coat pickles in panko.  Place on a plate to ready for frying.

Heat 1 1/2" of canola or peanut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.  Using a deep fat or candy thermometer, heat oil to 350 degrees.  Do not touch tip of thermometer to sides of bottom of pan when taking temperature reading, or your reading will be off.  Gently place a few pickles into oil and fry for 30 to 60 seconds, using chopsticks to move pickles around and flip over if necessary.  When they reach desired deep brown color, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels on a cooling rack placed over baking sheet.  Only fry a few pickles (3 to 6 depending on size of pickles and size of pan) at a time, if you add too many, you will crowd the pan and the pickles won't cook properly.  Since you aren't "cooking" the pickles, remove as soon as they are browned nicely, and they'll be perfect.

For the seasoned flour, mix together the following ingredients with a fork:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle

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