Have you heard of fried pickles? Cory and I had lunch at Ruth’s Diner, where these were on the menu. Of course we had to order ‘em, and boy were we glad we did. YUM!
BTW, Ruth’s Diner is the second oldest eating establishment in UT. It’s up Emigration Canyon. If you’re ever in the area, you should pay it a visit. There’s a reason it’s still around today.
OK, back to the pickles. Cor liked the pickles so much that he decided to recreate the dish at home. He found a recipe for them on foodnetwork.com, he hit the grocery store for the ingredients (and a deep fryer), and he let the cooking begin.
First things first, the pickle spears. He bought JUMBO ones, so he started by cutting those in half – hotdog ways (long) not hamburger ways (wide).
Once all of the picks were cut, he absorbed the extra moisture, a little tip he picked up online.
Use paper towels to absorb that pick juice.
PAUSE: How strange is this? I’m sitting here, writing this blog, when Cor walks in and turns on the Travel Channel. What’s on? A show about tasty friend foods, which included a big segment about friend pickles. Straaaaange!
On to the egg wash. Mix the goods (milk, eggs, lemon pepper, dill weed, and pickle juice) in a bowl. This is the liquid you dip the picks in before coating them.
Whisk the wet ingredients together, like so.After the egg wash comes the hand wash. Cor, my germ-phobe hubby, literally washes his hands at least a half-dozen times in the process of preparing ANYTHING.
Let’s talk breading. The bulk of this is made up of cornmeal, which Cor wasn’t crazy about. The next time he makes this recipe, he wants to use more flour and less cornmeal. Something to consider if you’re gonna try this one.
Time to cover those picks. Dip ‘em in egg wash, roll ‘em in breading, and put them on a wax-paper covered pan for chillin’. Chill for 30 minutes before frying.
Wash, bread, repeat.
And fry those puppies up. Warm up your oil (we used canola oil) to 350 degrees, and dip those picks for 3-4 minutes. Once fried, put ‘em on a plate to cool for a few minutes. They get HOT in the middle. Then serve with dippin’ sauce – we whipped up some tasty fry sass (mixture of mayo, ketchup and just a touch of relish).
2 cups milk
Pinch of lemon pepper
Pinch of dill weed
2 ½ cups cornmeal
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup lemon pepper
½ cup dill weed
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (We left this out for me. I don’t like the spice.)
And, of course, dill pickle spears (24)
Ideas for modifying/improving the recipe from Cor’s kitchen (things he’s going to try the next time he makes these):
1. Less cornmeal, more flour (or no cornmeal, all flour).
2. Less dill (at least cut the dill in half for the breading).
3. Use plenty of pickle juice in the egg wash.
4. This recipe makes lots o’ picks. Cor cut it in half, and it still made too many picks for two people (easily 16). Consider this when preparing.
5. We dipped in fry sass, but you can also try ranch dressing.
6. Don’t breath in the lemon pepper. It hurts.
7. Using a deep fryer will make your kitchen stink!
8. But boy are the picks good! (Cor says that they were only “OK,” but I say that they were “good,” so there!)
Like Tip #6 says, hold your breath when working with lemon pepper. Ouch!