The Food Network is dangerous at night. You’re sitting there, it’s 2 a.m. and then Guy Fieri comes on with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (or as Jay calls it, “Diners, Drive-Thru’s and Drive-bys“) and even if you ate a huge dinner… you’re done for. It’s starts out innocently enough, you’re sitting there watching him eat awesome looking burgers, barbecue, pulled pork, fried chicken and mashed potatoes and you instantly get hungry. The meal that’s probably still being digested that you ate just a few hours before is forgotten. Then you start thinking of what you can make. It happens to everyone, don’t feel guilty. I’m not judging you.
Last week me & Jay went to his grandma’s for dinner. She had a huge spread: roast chicken, brisket, creamed spinach, macaroni & cheese, roasted potatoes, etc. We ate. A lot. But magically, later on that night, around the 1-2 a.m. mark, we flipped on the Food Network. And who was on? Mr. Guy Fieri. He threw out his line, and the hook went right into our cheeks. Jay started throwing out ideas as to what to make, and none of them seemed feasible to me at that time of the night (or morning). Things like macaroni & cheese, pizza, etc. Then he said “Fried pickles!” I thought he was kidding, but I should really know better. He was not. So I told him sure, and I did a quick search for a recipe just so I knew what the basics were, and it seemed easy enough anyway. So hey, why not? I make cupcakes at 1 a.m., why not fried pickles?
If you’ve never in your life heard of a fried pickle, here’s a little background for ya:
The Fried Dill Pickle was popularized by Bernell “Fatman” Austin in 1963 at the Duchess Drive In located in Atkins, Arkansas. The Fatman’s Recipe is only known to his family and used once each year at the annual Picklefest in Atkins, held each May.
They’re certainly interesting. And a really great picnic or barbecue food, since they’d probably travel well and don’t have to be eaten hot. Just be sure to thoroughly drain them after frying, or the pickles get soggy. They’re usually served with ranch dressing, so that’s what we had. But if you prefer something else, or want to make your own, go for it! I think a chipotle mayo dip would be great with these too.
And you’ve GOTTA have ’em with somethin’ for dippin’…
FRIED DILL PICKLES
- 1 pint sliced dill pickles, undrained (we used garlic dill)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce (we didn’t use this because Jay is boring & hates anything hot)
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper (see above)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Vegetable oil
- Drain pickles, reserving 2/3-cup pickle juice. Press pickles between paper towels. Combine 2/3 cup pickle juice, egg, 1 tablespoon flour, and hot sauce. Stir well and set aside.
- Combine 1 ½ cups flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Blend well.
- Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry coated pickles in 375-degree oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with ranch dressing or whatever dipping sauce you desire.
I don’t like pickles (yeah, seriously) so for me, these were just like any other fried pickles from a restaurant: they were good, I just can’t eat more than one or two. I probably would’ve been more into them if they had the hot sauce in there. Jay devoured the rest that I couldn’t eat, agreeing that they were indeed just as good as any restaurant ones, if not better. However I think we’re going to try different ways of doing it; buttermilk & cornmeal, pickles sliced the long way, etc. That’s what’s awesome about these, you can experiment with different ways of making them. I have an issue of the Food Network magazine that has a recipe for pretzel-coated fried pickles. We’re SO trying those.
Dive on in.
I don’t have to tell you there weren’t any leftover. I think the Fatman would be proud.