Food Flirt

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fried Pickles

My recent trip to Nashville was quite an adventure. It was a big thrill to play Elvis’ 1948 Steinway grand piano in Studio B and get my photo taken with Charlie Daniels but being back stage at the Grand Ole Opry during a broadcast was a high point. It was all very exciting and I fell in love with Nashville, its music, people and especially the food.

Not only did I enjoy biscuits and gravy at breakfast, bar-b-qued pulled pork sandwiches at lunch and heavenly friend chicken for dinner but I made the discovery that fried dill pickles are delicious as a mid-afternoon snack. No kidding! Dipped into a tangy tomato sauce they were a big hit with my friends and me.

Deep Fried Pickles

Peanut oil
1 quart dill pickles
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups plain cornmeal
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Place enough peanut oil in a 4 to 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven to come halfway up the side of the pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to 390 to 400 degrees F.

Remove the pickles from their brine and cut lengthwise into quarters, like spears. Lay the spears on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and pat them dry. An alternative is to slice the pickles crosswise into chips.

Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish and mix together the cornmeal and salt in a separate dish. Dip each pickle, one at a time, first into the buttermilk, then into the cornmeal and then back into the buttermilk and then into the cornmeal. Carefully place each spear into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. You can fry 3 to 4 pickles in the pot at a time. Adjust the heat, if necessary, in order to maintain a constant temperature of 390 to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the pickles to a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating. Season with additional salt, if desired.