For being someone who isn’t into snack foods, I’ve sure been on a roll with them. I made homemade Cheez Its. I just finished a bag of pretzels that I bought for a beach day the weekend before the 4th. And now I’ve made a bar food/Southern appetizer staple: fried dill pickles.
The fried pickles weren’t technically my choice, though. My mom has a ginormous (technically one gallon) jar of sliced dill pickles in her fridge. What on earth are you supposed to do with a gallon of pickles? You either have a cookout for 1,000 or an unhealthy obsession with pickles to justify that purchase. She fortunately did not purchase the jar, but it’ll take her five years or so to get to the bottom of it.
We did, luckily, find this great use of the new pickle collection during my 4th of July visit to Kentucky.
Fried pickles are one of the many fried food obsessions you’ll find in the South, although I bet they can be found throughout the country too. And for good reason– they’re delicious. I’m rather ambivalent about pickles as a condiment, but when I see fried pickles on a menu, there’s a strong likelihood that I’ll be tempted enough to order them. They’re crisp, slightly greasy like a potato chip and have an awesome vinegar kick that seems to go perfectly with these attributes. It’s sort of a jacked-up salt and vinegar chip.
Fried pickles are fun, too, because they’re different. Fries and chips are great, but when fried pickles come up, the party really gets started. So I think you should try them. This is a simple recipe, and they’re sure to be a crowd pleaser and leave you with a happy memory of that time you made fried pickles.
2 ½ cups sliced dill pickles, drained and patted dry
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Combine egg and buttermilk in a small bowl, mixing well. Combine dry ingredients in another small bowl.
2. Add pickle slices to the buttermilk mixture; toss to coat well. Transfer ¼ of pickles to the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly, making sure that pickles aren’t stuck together.
3. In a medium to large skillet, add oil to ½ inch depth. With heat on medium high, heat until oil registers at 350F.
4.Stack floured pickles onto a large spatula and gently lower into the hot oil. Spread out. Cook pickles until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and put them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
5. Repeat step 4 three more times until all pickles are cooked. Serve with horseradish sauce or ranch if desired.