Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone!
Don’t you just love going to county fairs and seeing the frying cart where they fry everything from candy bars to pickles to Oreos to Twinkies…it’s gross, delicious and fascinating all at once! In honor of the wonderful American tradition of frying, my boyfriend Chris and I decided to fry a jar of the People’s Pickles (an extremely appropriate democratic name) and chow down on this all-American delicacy.
Let’s get started!
1 ½ cups of flour
Teaspoon of pepper (more to taste)
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 pack of Jiffy cornbread mix
Salt & pepper
1 cup of milk
Mix up one or both of the batters in separate bowls (the cornbread one is especially delicious and gets nice and crispy). Note: if you are doing both batters, do the cornbread batter last as it tends to leave a lot of breading behind in the oil.
Beat the eggs and milk in a separate bowl.
Heat enough oil (vegetable, canola, your choice.) to cover the pickles to 325 degrees. To test the temperature: drop a teeny amount batter in it and if it immediately bubbles to the top then the oil is ready.
Now you are ready to fry! My boyfriend, Kentucky Fried Chris (I’m sure he appreciates me nicknaming him:)) uses this simple mantra: wet-dry-wet-dry-oil to explain the steps of frying. The advantage of double-dipping is to get a thicker coating on the pickle, which helps seal it quickly, keeping oil out and juice in. In order to do these properly, the oil has to be hot and the batter has to be thick enough.
1) Dip the pickles in egg wash (Wet)
2) Dip the pickles in the dry mix (Dry)
3) Dip again in the egg wash (Wet)
4) Dip again in the dry mix (Dry)
5) Place gently in the oil – be careful!
Since it’s a vegetable, you don’t really need to worry about it cooking, you just want to heat it up until it’s a nice golden brown. Fry on one side for a minute, and then flip over and fry the other side for a minute. I suggest doing one test pickle first to see how long you like to fry your pickles and to make sure the batter is done.
Remove the pickles from the oil. Place them on paper towel on a plate and allow them to cool. They will be very, very hot! Now, the best part: finding dips to go with fried pickles! We tried Ranch dressing and an Asiago Peppercorn dressing with the regular pickles, and found that, surprisingly, honey was really tasty with the cornbread pickles.
General rules of frying
Don’t make your batches too big or it will drop the oil temperature, which will cause your pickles to become greasy and oily. Allow a little bit of time between batches to let the oil heat up again.