Crispy Southern Fried Pickles

These deep fried pickle chips are lightly flour-breaded in just a hint of Cajun spice. Don’t forget the Carolina ketchup. Easy appetizer, details below!

Music: http://bensound.com

Fried Pickles are a common appetizer in restaurants and homes throughout the southern United States. The key to making great fried pickles where I’m from however is deep frying them and getting the pickle chips light and crispy on the inside.

Southern-Style Flour Breaded:

The flour breading has a southern influence as it contains 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, a staple spice of Cajun cuisine. The batter breaks down like this; For every 1 Cup of all purpose flour you use, add 1/2 teaspoon of each: black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, and Cayenne pepper.

Pickle Chips:

Pickle chips themselves don’t contain any calories and since pickling a cucumber pretty much removes the majority of nutritional benefits to the vegetable over time, it’s fairly safe to say that this appetizer is not a healthy one considering that you’re mostly consuming vegetable oil, flour, some spices that are high in sodium, and ranch if you so choose. Or as we call it where I’m from, Carolina ketchup. And why Carolina ketchup? Because we pour it on everything except our Bojangle’s Chicken Supremes. Those get Honey Mustard.

Dredge:

One nice thing about pickled veggies is that if you’re going to fry them you only need to dredge in flour, seeing as how they’ve already been soaked in whatever brine they were canned in. Or, jarred in I guess you could say, if they come in a jar like mine did. Dredging is simple with small veggie pieces you can just throw the veggies in a large mixing bowl that has your batter. Toss them, use your hands, use a fry basket, a sieve, or in my case a skimmer. As long as you get a good coating on the outside of the pickles you’re set to throw them in the fryer. Not literally of course, you’ll want to gently lay anything you are adding to a fryer so that the oil doesn’t splash and burn you.

Deep Fry:

We’re going to deep fry these pickles which means your oil will need to be between 350°F and 375°F, as opposed to flash frying them which means the oil reaches a temperature of at least 400°F. The reason we’re deep frying them as opposed to flash frying is because deep frying allows the oil to penetrate the batter or flour-breading and cook the internal ingredients at the high heat of 350°-375°. Flash frying is so hot however, it sears the batter or flour on the outside and prevents much of the oil penetration to the internal ingredients. Flash frying is perfect for specific applications where you want the internal ingredients soft and tender. We don’t want soft and tender pickles here however, we want super light and crispy all the way through which is why we’ll be deep frying these for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

And that’s pretty much it! Comments or questions are always welcome, as long as we are behaving ourselves of course. If you’re ever going to fry up some veggies, give this a try sometime!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Slat.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper.
  • 8 Pickle Chips per guest.
  • 2-3″ Vegetable Oil to deep fry.

Nutrition Facts: (Per 8 Chips)

  • Calories: 415
  • Total Fat: 42g
  • – Saturated: 6g
  • – Trans: 0g
  • – Poly: 24g
  • – Mono: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 1.5%
  • Iron: 1.5%
  • Potassium: 50mg
  • Vitamin A: 7%
  • Vitamin C: 1%

Directions:

  1. Make flour breading: In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of all purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon of each: kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Cayenne pepper.
  2. Add pickle chips to flour breading straight from their jar so that they’re still saturated in the brine. This allows the flour-breading to stick without any soak or added liquid. If we were using a batter it wouldn’t make any difference, but we want these to turn out light and crisp so we’re only using a flour-breaded coating.
  3. Dredge pickle chips in flour. You can do this by using your hands, tossing them in the bowl, or you can use a fry basket, sieve, or skimmer as I did.
  4. Heat 2-3″ of vegetable oil in a pot that’s deep enough to avoid splashes, splatter, and accidental burns from the oil once frying begins. Temperature must reach 350°F-375° for deep frying, but keep it from getting too hot. If temperature reaches 400°F and above you are now flash frying which we want to avoid.
  5. Deep fry for 10-15 minutes until crispy golden brown on the outside. Breading will flake around some of the edges which is normal as deep frying penetrates breading and batters.
  6. Serve with ranch or dressing of choice!

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