One of my blogger friends, Jessica from The Jey of cooking, is expecting her second child –a girl, due mid October. Jessica and I have been friends in the internet world for the past couple of years now—and I was really honored when I was invited to participate in her Virtual Baby Shower, hosted by Joelen. The theme is an All-Star Baby-Shower, and while I had originally thought about making some sort of “food” normally found at baseball games, I really wanted to make fried pickles. It seems like pregnancy tends to be associated with craving for unusual food; and I consider this fried pickles to be so fitting.
My sister introduced me to fried pickles earlier this summer when I visited her in July. There is a barbecue restaurant about five minutes from her house that has awesome fried pickles on their menu. When I tried them, I didn’t really care for them—but it was mainly because I thought the pickle flavors was too strong. So after I made this homemade Bread and Butter Pickles, I thought that I should use them and see if I like them. The use of cornmeal provided a nice crunchy texture to these sweet and tangy coins. Obviously, you can use whatever pickles that you like. They were best eaten shortly after fried, and they didn’t reheat well. I got a little too excited so I made a ton of them. Please check out Joelen’s website to see what other delicious dishes that everyone else makes for the shower in honor of Jessica. BIG congratulations Jessica on the upcoming arrival of your daughter, I can’t wait to meet her!
1 quart of your favorite pickles
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups plain cornmeal
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling, if desired
Place enough peanut oil in a 4 to 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven to come halfway up the side of the pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to 390 to 400 degrees F.
Remove pickles from their brine. If using whole pickles, cut them into quarters, so they look like spears. If you use the coins-style like I did, lay them flat on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and pat them dry. Try to get all of them as dry as possible.
Place buttermilk in a shallow dish and mix together the cornmeal and salt in a separate shallow dish. Glass pie plates is ideal for this task.
Dip each pickle, one at a time, first into the buttermilk, then into the cornmeal and then repeat. You will end up dipping the pickles twice, alternating between the buttermilk and cornmeal.
Carefully place each pickle into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. You can fry several pickles in the pot at a time depending on how big your fryer and pickles.
Adjust the heat, if necessary, in order to maintain a constant temperature of 390 to 400 degrees F. Transfer the pickles to a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating. Season with additional salt, if desired.
Adapted from Alton Brown via Food Network