It’s fair season and I love it! After visiting the fair 3 times last summer, I came to the conclusion that fried cookie dough isn’t really my thing. Neither are the fried Kool-Aid balls. Funnel cake is always scrumptious, but if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m more of a fried pickles with a side of ranch kind of gal. That’s my pick, every time. Give me a few sips of that cheap fair lemonade to boot—or better yet, give me a cucumber-lime michelagua with a ton of chamoy in it—and I’m good.
So so good.
After the summer ended, I decided to continue my fried pickle fest, and so I took my recipe for the lightest, crispiest batter and I dipped a bunch of crunchy, zesty dill pickles right in.
The result after frying?
A crunchy, dilly, flavor explosion! And the homemade ranch? So easy, so quick, and just so irresistible with these fried pickles. I felt like I was taken right back to the fair—sans the sunburn, the cute baby goats, and the cut off Levi shorts I probably should have retired a decade ago but just can’t and definitely won’t.
Just in case you go to the grocery store and can’t find sliced dill or kosher pickles, do NOT get the bread and butter pickle slices. The second ingredient is sugar and we don’t want sweet fried pickles. That’s a gross thing. Get the dill pickles and slice them yourself if you have to. Trust me, the bread and butter kind–gross for this. And why are they called bread and butter pickles? Do you put them on a slice of buttered bread? Nevermind that. We’ll just stick to the dill or kosher pickles for this recipe.
IMPORTANT: When you’re at the store, take a glance at the ingredients list on the back of the pickle jar and make sure there are no artificial dyes added in there, please. That’s not cool that they’re in a lot of packaged foods to begin with, so just pick out another brand that doesn’t use artificial chemicals because food is supposed to be delicious and hopefully, usually nutritious. Yes, fried pickles are most definitely a treat food, yet there’s absolutely no need for exogenous chemicals in your food. So pay attention to the ingredients, my friend!
We’re trying to be honest with our ingredients in addition to our thoughts, and as always, keep it tasty!
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- Dill Pickles (not the bread and butter kind!), sliced into rounds (Make sure there are no artificial dyes in the ingredients list because we don’t need that. Woodstock brand is one that has no added dye.)
- 1 ½ cups Flour (Organic, unbleached, flour from Whole Foods 365 is what I use, but there are other brands that carry flour without additives as well.)
- 1 teaspoon Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Powder
- Vegetable Oil for frying (to reach about 1 ½ inches deep in your pot)
- 1 cold can (12 ounces) of Carbonated Water
- ¼ cup Plain Whole-Milk Yogurt
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dill, dried or fresh
- ½ teaspoon Chopped Chives, dried or fresh
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix together all the ingredients for the ranch dip in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a med-large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Place in the refrigerator for 20 min.
- In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat until a wooden spoon placed into it starts forming bubbles around it. This should mean that your oil is at approximately 350ºF (177ºC), where you want it. If the oil gets too hot, it will start to smoke and you need to turn it back down to low. Monitor the oil during the cooking process for optimal results.
- After the flour mixture has been in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, take it out and whisk in the carbonated water until fully incorporated.
- Take the pickle slices and drip off the excess liquid it may have had from being in the jar, dip them into the batter, and carefully add them to the hot oil.
- After they start to get golden (approximately 45 seconds), flip them to crisp up the other side (another 45 seconds or until golden).
- Remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to catch the excess oil.
- Serve with the homemade ranch and enjoy!