Home Living Cooking An unexpected southern-fried favorite

An unexpected southern-fried favorite

Pickles, pickles, pickles. Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, hot and spicy pickles, sweet pickles. You can pickle almost anything your heart desires. Pickles not only come in different brines they can be found in many shapes and sizes, spears, chips, babies.

in the kitchenPickle. I love the word pickle.

Pickle, Pickle, Pickle.

It has a way of rolling off the tongue. The word pickle almost takes on the actions of eating a pickle.

First, you have the crunch of the first bite. A good pickle comes with a good crunch. This is typically followed by a delightful pucker, a compliment to the briner who has perfected the balance of saltiness versus sourness. This balance of salty-vinegary-sourness with that touch of sweetness always leaves me wanting more, this is the part of eating a pickle that always gets me. I can never just have one.

In my early years of traveling I found myself down South staring at a menu item I’d never thought possible. Fried pickles. Ive always been a die-hard fan of pickles, I remember fishing through the variety of pickle jars in the fridge as a kid, trying to find the perfect match to the sandwich they were about to be piled high on. But fried pickles? Really? I think I questioned the fact that was this truly an angel from heaven staring back at me from the menu or if it was possibly the worst idea on the planet?

Lo and behold fried pickles are perfect pickle angels that beg to be eaten. Fried and crispy on the outside and juicy pickle goodness on the inside. I was surely in heaven.

So of course, after dreaming about said pickle angels, I had to find a way to enjoy these at home. Below you’ll find my recipe for these delicious treats that can be served up as an appetizer to wow your friends and family, a side dish to accompany your favorite southern meal or even as a delicious simple snack. I chose to use a variety of pickle chips that were sweet and spicy but if your looking to stick to the classic southern favorite go with dill pickles — chips or spears will do the trick, served with a side of Ranch dressing for dipping.

Photo: Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig

Kayleigh’s Fried Pickle Chips with Spicy Aioli
Serves 4


For the Pickles:
2 Cups Pickle chips, drained
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup, plus 2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

For the Spicy Aioli:
1/2 Cup Mayonaise
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Sriracha
• In a small bowl combine the aioli ingredients. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
• For the pickles, place oil in a frying pan, about 1 inch deep. Heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees. While the oil is reaching temperature place the pickles on paper towel and pat dry.
• In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour, water, cayenne pepper, italian seasoning, a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Stir until well combined. The batter should be on the thinner side. Add more water a teaspoon at a time if necessary, until the batter is runny.
• When the oil is ready, place half of the pickles into the batter. Toss to coat. Remove from the batter using a slotted spoon and carefully place into the oil one at a time. Fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and lay flat on paper towels. Do not pile after the pickles have been fried, keep separated and flat on paper towels to prevent sogginess.
• Return the oil to 375 degrees and repeat until all of the pickles are fried. Sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with the spicy aioli.

Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig
Kayleigh is a sous chef at the Meadow Club in Southampton. A Riverhead native, she is married and the mother of a daughter born in December 2016. Email Kayleigh