Hello all! I hope you have as much of an affinity for fried pickles as I do! If you've ever had them at a fair or restaraunt and loved them then I have come up with the perfect recipe for you to try at home!
Every September the Big E (otherwise known as the Eastern States Exposition) comes to West Springfield, MA, right over the bridge from me. I so look forward to going every year and tasting all of the yummy, greasy fair food. There's a building dedicated to each state in New England and their history and local food. There are Maine baked potatoes, Vermont Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and Massachusetts clam chowder to name a few. There is maple sugar cotton candy, hamburgers on donut buns, and fried everything from oreos to cheese curds. Fried pickles are one thing I have heard a ton of hype about in the past few years but I have yet to try them (I'm thinking this year is finally time).
I recently got to try a version of fried pickles with my girlfriends for the first time. They were at a random burger place, they were awesome, and they made me super excited to try the Big E verson. They were so good that I immediatly tried to recreate them. Rest assured that after much trial and error these are identical to the kind I had that night.
I hear that the kind made at the Big E are pickle spears instead of chips, but I've never had them so I can't count on the reliability of using them in this recipe. It seems that the balance between crispy coating and pickle is perfect so I don't see how using this recipe for spears would be any better. I'll have to revisit this theory after trying the Big E kind.
By the way, I made this recipe recently for my featured 24x24 post on Foodbuzz: A Summer Snack Attack Lunch! I served them with a homemade parmesan peppercorn dipping sauce, but you could easily use bottled or homemade ranch instead. I like the parmesan peppercorn dipping sauce because it is something different, but the ranch would definitly play well off the flavors of the pickles.
1 jar (16 ounces) hamburger dill chips, drained
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs, store bought
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
In a large heavy bottomed pot add enough corn oil to come 2-3 inches up the side of the pan. Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches at least 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, allow the hamburger dill chips to drain, but do not pat them dry. Combine the bread crumbs and corn meal in a medium bowl. Coat each hamburger dill chip with the corn meal mixture and shake off the excess (this can be done with a few chips at a time). Lay chips out on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the pickle chips.
Once the oil is hot enough, get ready a metal rack with 3-4 layers of paper towels. Fry the pickles by dropping them one by one into the hot oil and allowing them to brown slightly on both sides, about one minute. *Keep the oil at around 350 degrees and avoid overcrowding the pan (I found that about 15 pickles at a time was a good number). Scoop out the pickles with a slotted spoon and place immediatly on the paper towels to drain. *Pickles don't need any seasoning! Repeat with remaining pickle chips and serve hot with parmesan peppercorn or ranch dipping sauce.
Parmesan Peppercorn Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp coarsely grated black pepper
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Serve with hot pickle chips. *Also makes a great salad dressing or dip for veggies and potato chips.