I know, tell me about it. It sound’s wicked crazy, deep fried pickles? I was telling my friend Jeff Blake that he was up in the night if he thought he could get me to eat them, let alone like them. So he took me to Memphis Championship BBQ on Warm Springs Road in Las Vegas – we ordered them, and flipping heck man – I was addicted. I contemplated slapping my mother for sheltering me from this tasty treat – but then I realized that she might not have had the joy of experiencing these for herself, so dear old mom got the reprieve.
I started my journey and realized that these puppies are really popular in BBQ joints all over the south. Why have my culinary brothers and sisters in the west picked up on this tasty appetizer? It still baffles me, and as such – since they’re not a staple on the menu at our favorite BBQ joints in Utah – I adapted this recipe from the Food Network.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
- 2 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
- Pinch Cayenne
- 1 Quart Dill Pickles
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Sea Salt (plus more if desired)
- Ranch Dressing
- Peanut Oil
- Place enough peanut oil in a 4-5 qt cast iron Dutch Oven to come up half way up the side of the pot. Place over a medium-high heat and bring 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. You can also slice the pickles or as I did purchase them sliced.
- Place the buttermilk in a 1" 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 repeat. Carefully place each pickle into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. You can fry 3 to 4 pickles (as spears) in a pot at a time. As slices, you can cook 10-15 at a time. Adjust the heat, if necessary, in order to maintain a constant temp of 400 degrees F. Transfer the pickles to a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating. Season with additional salt and the cayenne pepper, if desired.