Here in Central NY, the end of summer is marked with the Great New York State Fair
. For two weeks leading up to Labor Day, you can head to Syracuse for live entertainment, 25 cent milk, and farm animals galore. Oh, and fried food! Lots of fried food, actually. My friend Ashley and I plunged into the sea of fried foods at the state fair last weekend, surfacing with fried pickles. 🙂 Now I’m sure you’ve heard of fried oreos, fried candy bars, etc. They sound pretty overwhelming, right? Fried pickle chips aren’t overwhelming. They’re just delicious.
Those are the pickle chips we tried at the fair. The corn meal crust on these pickles was light and crispy – not overwhelming in the slightest – nearly perfect. A garlic dipping sauce was served alongside the pickles. Naturally, I came home from the fair hoping to be able to recreate the pickle chips.
I sort of got a little carried away. But in a good, fried-pickle-chip-gone-fancy sort of way. Since you’re obviously going to make these, let’s get right to the prep.
Take three whole dill pickles, and slice ’em up. I’d say about 1/4 inch thick, since you’re making these fancy at the end.
You need to give your pickles a little TLC before you give them a hot oil treatment. So line up your milk, flour, egg, and corn meal – it’s bath time. The pickles didn’t want me to show pictures of them bathing in the aforementioned ingredients. They said they wanted privacy. But I managed to get a quick shot of them fully-dressed before their hot oil bath!
Here’s where I fast-forward. I get
a little really uneasy around hot, popping oil, thus holding a camera during this time was pretty much out of the picture. 😉 Anyway, fry one minute on each side. Be careful.
Now the topping. Mmm, the topping. Cream cheese is an obvious accompaniment to fried food, right? Paula Deen would be proud. Add some hot sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil, and you’ve got one heck-of-a fried pickle topping, I’d say.
I used a plastic bag for quick-and-easy piping of the topping. But you can just as easily spoon it on top of the pickles. Either way is equally tasty.
If you could fry any food, what would it be?
Corn Meal Crusted Pickles w/ Sun-Dried Tomato Topping
Makes about 20 pickle bites
3 whole medium kosher dill pickles
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup corn meal
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
2 cups canola oil
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
In medium saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat.
Cut pickles in 1/4-inch slices. Place milk, flour, egg, and corn meal in four separate shallow dishes. Add ground pepper to corn meal dish and mix gently.
Dip pickle slices into milk, then flour, then egg, then corn meal, making sure to coat both sides and edges of each pickle slice.
Carefully drop pickles into heated oil. Cover and cook about 1 minute on each side until light golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towel -lined plate. Allow cooked pickles to cool about 5 to 10 minutes before topping.
For cream cheese topping, combine cream cheese, hot sauce, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes in small mixing bowl. Stir until mixed.
Top each cooked pickle with cream cheese topping, about one teaspoon of topping per pickle.