Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fried Pickles and Blues

This weekend kicks off the annual "Memphis in May" celebration. Laissez les bon temps roulez! In my opinion, these next four weekends are the epitome of all things Memphis, in particular the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Blues and barbecue are the two pillars which this city was founded upon.

The festivities start this weekend with the Beale Street Music Festival. Three days, four stages and over sixty bands will perform. Click here to see the line up. The ultimate icon of blues and Beale is the King of Blues himself, Mr. BB King. Although a predictable song choice, "The Thrill is Gone" is a classic and oozes the essence of blues.

But the thrill is anything but gone in today's featured appetizer. I'm cooking up some fried pickles! That's right. Fried pickles. My southern readers know what I'm talking about. Just about every bar/restaurant on Beale Street, mid-town and downtown Memphis serves these special spears. This particular recipe has a little kick to it by adding Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper. It's a winner. The batter has just enough substance to give you that golden brown, fried crunch that you want without being 75% fried batter and 25% pickle. A helpful tip when mixing your wet ingredients for the batter, don't overly stir the eggs and flour. You want it to be somewhat chunky because that's what will hold on to the dry ingredients to create your crust. Below is the recipe, or click here to see the original site.

I don't have a deep fryer; so I just fried them up in my Dutch oven, using about 1-2 inches of oil to fill it. Also, dipping the pickles in the ranch dressing at the end is a requirement ; )

Fried Dill Pickles Recipe

Wet Dippings

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp seasoning salt
  1. Beat eggs in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Add flour and mix.
  3. Pour in milk and seasonings and mix.
  4. Set the wet drippings aside.

Dry Dippings

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Mix together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir until the dry ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Set the dry dippings aside. Do not mix them with the wet dippings.

Dip and Fry

  • 1 quart dill pickles (sliced lengthwise)
  • Wet dippings
  • Dry dippings
  1. Drain liquid off dill pickles and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Dip pickles one by one in wet dippings. Shake lightly.
  3. Dip in dry dippings and roll around until well covered. Shake lightly.
  4. Deep fry like French fries in oil or hot Crisco at 350 degrees F until golden brown.
  5. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve plain or with Ranch dressing 

No comments: