Fried Pickles With Pickled Ranch Dip
Fried pickles come in many shapes and sizes, but this recipe approaches them in a way that maximizes their crunch: First, it calls for pickle chips, which yield a better coating-to-filling ratio than pickle spears. Next, the pickles are patted dry to remove extra moisture, ensuring that the breading adheres to every nook and cranny. Finally, breading the pickles in a flour-buttermilk-bread-crumb sequence creates a robust crust. When frying breaded ingredients, be mindful of residual cooking: Remove your cooked items from the hot oil just before they reach their desired shade of golden brown, as they’ll continue to cook — and darken — after being removed from the heat. Frying the pickles mutes their acidity, but adding chopped pickles to the dill-flecked creamy dip bumps up the brightness.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1 ¾cups drained bread and butter pickle chips (about 8 ounces/48 chips)
- ½cup mayonnaise
- 3tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 3tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
- ½teaspoon garlic salt (optional)
- ¼teaspoon onion powder
- 1cup buttermilk
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3cups canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- ¾cup all-purpose flour
- 3tablespoons hot sauce, such as Crystal
- 1 ¼cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Step 1Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Arrange 40 pickle chips (about 1 1/2 cups) in an even layer on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels, pressing gently to absorb excess moisture. Set aside.
Step 2Prepare the pickled ranch dip: Finely chop the remaining 8 pickle chips. Transfer to a small bowl and add the mayonnaise, dill, chives, garlic salt (if using), onion powder and 1/3 cup buttermilk. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt and chill until ready to serve.
Step 3Add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high until oil comes to 375 degrees, about 5 minutes. Cover another baking sheet with paper towels for draining the fried pickles.
Step 4In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2/3 cup buttermilk with the hot sauce. Add the bread crumbs to a large shallow bowl. Working in about four batches, add about 10 pickle chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to the buttermilk mixture, turning until coated. Allow the excess buttermilk mixture to drip off, then transfer to the bread crumbs. Turn pickle chips to coat in bread crumbs, packing bread crumbs on top until chips are fully covered, and transfer them to a plate.
Step 5Add coated pickles to the hot oil, dispersing them evenly, and cook, turning halfway through, until crisp and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towel-lined sheet pan. Repeat with remaining pickles, adjusting heat as needed to maintain oil at 375 degrees. Serve immediately, with pickled ranch dip.