Fried pickles, y’all. Believe it or not, I never deep fry in my own kitchen. Yet there was something unique about this weekend’s beautiful autumn weather—crisp and cool yet sunny and inviting—coupled with our crew at the ranch and our timeless, stress-free agenda. I brought the cornmeal, pickles and Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning in tow (I’m considering always having a bottle in my purse for occasions like these) and whipped up some batches to begin our evening on the ranch.
In my opinion, this recipe could be a game-changing Thanksgiving Day starter that gets the whole family involved. Pick your station—buttermilk dunking, cornmeal dusting, frying, seasoning or serving! Enjoy and indulge, y’all. And happy early Thanksgiving!
Serves 8-12 (depending on how hungry your guests are)
1 jar whole kosher dill pickles, sliced to 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup medium-grind cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon srirarcha (optional)
Everything bagel seasoning
Canola oil for frying
1. Prepare your stations as follows: 1 medium bowl for buttermilk; 1 medium bowl for dry ingredients; 1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for pre-frying); 1 baking sheet lined with paper towels (for post-frying).
2. Pour 2-inches deep of canola oil into a medium frying pan, and heat until thermometer reaches 350 degrees. Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, cayenne and sugar in designated dry-ingredient bowl.
3. Working in batches, coat 10 pickle slices in butter milk, then transfer into cornmeal batter until coated. Then, transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until all pickles are coated.
4. Once oil is hot, add 6 to 8 dredged pickle rounds to the plan. Use a fry spider to gently and carefully toss the pickles around the oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Place on the paper towel-lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with some everything bagel seasoning. Continue until all pickles are fried.
5. Serve warm alongside buttermilk ranch dressing and, if desired, a small bowl of srirarcha.
Adapted from Joy the Baker