Earlier this summer I had a long drink with Rick Field of Rick's Picks and he told me how much he'd been loving frying pickles. Why don't we make a Rick's/Zingerman's fried pickle kit? Maybe for the Superbowl? I don't usually trust ideas hatched under such conditions and, for some reason I can't explain, I've never had a fried pickle. So last Friday night we got to work.
A jar of Rick's People's Pickles has about 30 thick-cut slices. We fried all of 'em, save the six his daughters snagged for dinner.
Fried (People's) Pickle Recipe
- Lay a paper towel on a plate. Put each slice on the towel and top with another paper towel. Let sit for at least ten minutes. (Reuse the leftover brine. Drop in a peeled hard boiled egg or green beans or some thinly sliced carrots. Refrigerate for a couple days before eating.)
- Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a ten or twelve inch pan. We used a cast iron skillet.
- Dust the pickles with flour on each side.
- Beat two eggs in a bowl.
- Dip the pickle slices in the eggs then roll in cornmeal. We used cornmeal Rick bought in Vermont, but I'm thinking they'd also be good with Marino's Polenta.
- Fry for about ten minutes, or until they turn golden brown.
We'd been drinking wine so the timing could be off—watch the color for your cue. Also, it'd probably be helpful to know what temperature the oil was at but we didn't have a thermometer. (I pretty much suck at recipe development.) We threw some water in and it popped. The first pickle went in and Rick said, "That's a good fry." I took his word for it.
Later he explained, "You don't want to kill the pickle. Too many fried pickles are annihilated. We want to keep it juicy inside." Spoken like a man who's eaten a lot of fried pickles.
Douse 'em with a bit of hot sauce (I like Cholula, though I bet the new Piment d'Espelette hot sauce we just got in would be scrumptious) and eat 'em while they're hot. I thought they were pretty good.
If any of the crew at ZMO—or any other readers—try this, let me know how it turns out. I'm still thinking about it as a gift kit this winter.
A good fry.