Whoa whoa whoa slow it on down…fried pickles?
Josh and I had the pleasure of visiting the Memphis Taproom recently, which has a variety of tasty bar food offerings, including the fried pickles that mended my relationship with the vinegar-y little cucumbers that have haunted my taste buds for my entire life.
I have always love pickled things: beets, green beans, carrots, olives, etc. But actual pickles have evaded my love for as long as I can remember. That is, until the chef at Memphis Taproom decided to beer batter those little green guys and serve them up with horseradish dipping sauce. My taste buds sang at the final union of pickles and satisfaction.
Recently Josh and I hosted a group of men for an
ultra-manly ultra-geeky night of Dungeons and Dragons, and I was faced with the task of feeding them. These fried beauties immediately came to mind (who else could I ever make these for?) I thought at first that I would have to figure this out on my own, but a quick google search yielded possibly the best link of my life:
Peanut oil, for frying (I used a mix of peanut and canola since our peanut oil was woefully low)
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus a little extra for dusting the pickles)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Cayenne Pepper (MTR said to only use a pinch, but I didn’t buy their bluff and used much more to achieve the flavor profile of the pickles from the restaurant)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 cup beer (MTR uses Lion’s Head, I used Dreamweaver)
kosher dill pickle spears
First, add the proper amount of oil to a deep sauce pan and set your heat to medium-high (or if you are so blessed, crank up your fryer). If you start the oil before anything else, it will be hot when you are ready to start. Next, mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and whisk the buttermilk and beer before combining the wet and dry together. Pat dry a selection of spears, dust with flour, and dip the spears into the batter and coat well. Once you are sure the oil is hot (with a thermometer handy, it should be around 375 degrees) start adding the spears. Be sure not to over-crowd the oil. Let the spears fry on one side until they are golden brown, then flip and repeat. Once both sides are golden brown, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
The result is a huge platter of delicious little beauties for you and your friends to enjoy (to the chagrin of your waistline). The recipe is officially supposed to yield 5 spears, but I got a lot more. What a perfect snack (and it’s even a good introduction to the world of frying, as this is a pretty easy project in the kitchen).
Thank you chef Kimball of Memphis Taproom for sharing this with the world. I am a little happier knowing that people are still willing to share their secrets.