Friday, April 15, 2011

Southern Fried Dill Pickles & Veggies

Admittedly, the food inspired the music tonight, instead of vice versa.  I'm a huge fan of dill pickles, served in a number of ways.  Just wait until I post the recipe for my family's favourite holiday appetizers - pickles, cream cheese, and cheap ass lunch meat!  But I do love a good deep fried pickle.  Being a Southern thing, most people here in Northern California have never heard of them, let alone tasted one!  I'm going to assume the rest of the country (outside of the South) is equally in the dark, and I want to shine the light onto the shiny, greasy deliciousness that is the fried pickle!  And while operating the deep fryer, who better to belt it out in Southern punk rock fashion than one of my all time favourite punk bands, Avail. I. Love. This. Band.  I got to see them a number of times when I lived in Chicago, and they were the loudest, fastest, angriest shows!  I never left one without bruised ribs, stomped toes, and a kick or two in the head from crowd surfers.  Best shows ever!  I miss them. Here's their "Simple Song".  -jen

Back to the food... I like my batter really seasoned, and I find a lot of places don't season their batter much.  So you could definitely cut back on the seasoning if you're more of a plain-batter kind of person (but what fun would that be?)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you'd like it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 6-12oz ale
  • vegetable or peanut oil for frying
  • dill pickle slices (Vlasic makes "Ovals" which are huge slices, great for this!)
Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 360-370 F.

On a plate, lay out two layers of paper towels.  Place pickles in single layer on towels and cover with another double-layer of paper towels, pressing down on the pickles so that the towels absorb the juice.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Begin whisking in the beer, a little at a time.  I like my batter to be a little on the thick side, so I'll use about 1/2 a bottle of the beer.  Some people like a thinner batter, which would require 3/4 to 1 whole 12oz bottle.  Start conservatively and remember you can always add more beer!

Dip the pickles in batter and gently place into oil, frying until golden brown (2-3 minutes).  I use plain, wooden, disposable chopsticks to flip the pickles half way through the cooking time.  Don't over-crowd the pan, fry in batches.  Let drain in a paper towel-lined dish. You can preheat your oven to 250 F and keep your early batches warm.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping sauce.

Tip: You can re-warm leftovers in the oven or toaster oven.  Set to broil, lay leftovers in single layer.  Broil until crispy on top side, then flip.  In the toaster oven, it's 4-5 minutes on each side.  

The pickles are the front-left, next to the ranch (see, big Ovals).  The batter really works for anything.  I got a little crazy tonight and ended up making enough deep fried food for about thirteen people (instead of the two of us).  I did zucchini, crimini mushrooms, onion rings, cheese curds, and then I even tried stuffing pickled cherry peppers with the cheese curds.  They were a little sour and not as good as I thought they'd be.  I'll have to try my hand at some jalapeno poppers next time - those'll be great!


  1. Outrageously tasty sounding!!!!mmmmmmm...

  2. Om nom nom! I now has a hungry. ^_^