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Recipe: fried pickles with green goddess aioli

I bid farewell to spring last week with a 17-mile trail run chased by an Andrew Bird concert at the Chautauqua Community House (125 seats and we were *this* close to the stage!) on Thursday. Then my parents made an awesome feast of a Chinese meal for us Friday evening including some of Jeremy’s favorite dishes. The next morning we packed the pup into the car and headed southwest to Crested Butte on the first day of summer. I wanted to catch the early summer wildflowers (which are very different from the mid-summer wildflowers) and well – it’s Jeremy’s happy place.

wonderful things: kaweah, summer solstice, crested butte

wallflowers in bloom

lupine nestled under aspen stands

Being in Crested Butte is also a nice opportunity to change up my trail runs and keep track of which flowers are blooming where. The trails I ran last month are no longer mudslides, but hardpack dirt. As I increase my distances, climbs, and elevations, I’m learning to also manage things like chafing, hot spots, fuel intake, rate of water intake, sun exposure, pacing, what to eat pre- and post run. Next up is filtering water on the trail because we are reaching the limit of what we can carry. I was completely oblivious to these issues at the start. No such thing as a simple run anymore.

green has arrived in the mountains

a quick snappy of purple larkspur with mount crested butte in the distance

One thing I don’t have to worry about as much is my caloric intake. Actually, I *DO* have to watch my caloric intake, but mostly to make sure I get enough calories to balance a 2000 calorie run. Something like that. The point is that I’m not shying away from the occasional fried snack which is why I ventured forth to make these irresistible fried pickles. The first time I had them was at Oak in Boulder, served with a side of green goddess aioli. If you love pickles and fried things, this is the ultimate combination. I suggest making the aioli first, because you’ll want to eat the pickles while they’re fresh and hot.

chives, parsley, dill, mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, anchovy paste

grate the garlic

chop the herbs

The recipe I originally followed had too little volume to blend properly in my blender, so I doubled the amount in the recipe below. That seemed to solve the blender issue. I used chives, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, and dill as my herbs, but you can use any of your favorite fresh herb combinations for the aioli.

chopped herbs, mayonnaise, pepper, lemon juice, grated garlic, salt, anchovy paste

place the herbs, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and anchovy paste in the blender

purée until smooth and season with salt and pepper

Once the aioli is done, you can cover it and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Now on to the pickles. I’m particular about the crunch of my pickles. I like them crunchy if at all possible. Flavor is just as important. I used Claussen’s Kosher Dill pickles for this batch and the results were great. They retained their crunch and flavor nicely. Use what you like, but just be sure to pat dry the pickle slices to avoid splattering when you fry them.

pickles, beer, egg, baking powder, salt, flour

slice the pickles to 1/2-inch thickness

pat the slices dry

The batter is a straightforward beer batter. If you don’t want to use beer, you can substitute milk, but beer lends a nice fermented flavor to the batter. Which beer to use? I have no idea. I think any beer works. I knew I wouldn’t go wrong with a local brew, but Colorado is kind of obsessed with making great beer.

whisk the beer and egg together

mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl

stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Now you are ready to fry. I find the use of a candy thermometer slapped onto the side of my pot of oil helps tremendously when it comes to frying. Usually there is a target temperature to maintain, but between the flame on my stove and the drop in temperature when you add cold things (cold because it’s room temperature as opposed to 375°F) to hot oil, it can be a juggling act at best. At least the thermometer helps me stay in the ballpark of the target temperature and I can make adjustments accordingly. The pickle slices fry at 375°F for about 2 minutes a side until golden. If you like the batter coating thick, give it an extra 30 seconds per side.

dip each pickle slice

fried and draining on a cooling rack

These fried pickles are best eaten hot while the batter is crisp and fresh. If you want to make them ahead, I’ve had good results storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and then heating them in a 350°F oven until the batter crisps up again to your liking (maybe 10 minutes). Serve them along with the green goddess aioli and you have in essence created your own little party.

serve hot

dip in the green goddess aioli

consume with gusto!

Fried Pickles with Green Goddess Aioli
[print recipe]
from this recipe and this recipe

1 lb. dill pickles (or less – the batter will support at least 1 pound)
1 egg
12 oz. beer
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
vegetable oil for frying
green goddess aioli for dipping (see recipe below)

green goddess aioli
6 tbsps herbs (parsley, dill, chives, basil, etc.), finely chopped
2 tbsps lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsps anchovy paste
salt and pepper to taste

Make the green goddess aioli: Place the herbs, lemon juice, garlic, mayonnaise, and anchovy paste in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes just under 1 cup.

Make the fried pickles: Slice the pickles into 3/8-inch thick slices – either crosswise (circles), lengthwise (long ovals), or on a diagonal. Pat each slice dry with paper towels (I gave each a good squeeze to reduce the liquid). Crack the egg into a large bowl and whisk to break up the yolk. Whisk in the beer. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir the dry ingredients into the beer and egg mixture until smooth. Heat 2-inches of oil in a medium saucepan or a large pot to 375°F (I use a candy thermometer). When the oil reaches temperature, dip pickle slices one-at-a-time into the batter, let excess batter drip off, and place in the hot oil. Fry until golden (about 2 minutes per side). Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or on a cooling rack. Work in batches, but don’t crowd the pickles as they may stick together. Serve hot with green goddess aioli.

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21 nibbles at “picklish”

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I am so, so, into this recipe. Deep fried pickles are the beeeeest!

  2. Kristin says:

    I am not a huge pickle fan, but I could be talked into dipping just about anything fried into that dressing!

  3. Rikki says:

    oh. my. god.

  4. Maggie says:

    you lost me at 17 miles ~scratching my head

  5. Eileen says:

    Oh man! I never deep fry, but I may have to make an exception for a batch of these. PICKLES!

  6. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence says:

    I loooove fried pickles, but I’ve never seen them coated in such a fluffy batter. I need to try this!

  7. Louise says:

    Looks delicious! And great photos. Best one of course is Kaweah! Such a thoughtful stare

  8. Stacey says:

    This looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try fried pickles, and I would love to make this, but this time I’ll live vicariously through you since I’m watching my caloric intake in terms of consuming less. Maybe once I reach my goal weight, I’ll treat myself and make these :)

  9. Pey-Lih says:

    Wow! Good for you….I rather bike 17 miles than run it! You got some beautiful shots- love the picture of Kaweah with the backdrop of Crested Butte! Makes me thinking of Heidi and her grandfather somewhere in Switzerland. Don’t worry about counting calories. Just keep exercising and be consistent with your training, do a few VO2 max intervals, and keep HR low during easy days, and it will be all good. Here’s to fried pickles! :-)

  10. Cheryl says:

    Love the shot of Kaweah – she looks like a young pup!

  11. farmerpam says:

    Best pup picture, ever. She looks ageless and happy. My kids discovered fried pickles at the local fair last summer. I, myself, have a hard time getting my head around the concept. Only you could make them look good, though. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll surprise them and try your recipe this summer. Maybe. :)

  12. jill says:

    Kaweah looks at you so adoringly! Are you dangling another 1/2 birthday surprise in front of the camera, or is this pure love?

    Fried pickles……well I never!

  13. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    oh yeah…those look so amazing!

    Kaweah really does look wonderful.

  14. Ami@naivecookcooks says:

    Whoa I am crazy in love with pickles. I literally finish a jar in one sitting….wonder why I never thought about these??!!! These look so delicious!

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  16. jenyu says:

    Katrina – it’s dangerously good!

    Kristin – I really like the dressing. Maybe fry zucchini?

    Rikki – ;)

    Maggie – :)

    Eileen – definitely worth trying.

    Brandon – beer batter is one of my favs next to tempura!

    Louise – Thanks!

    Stacey – Maybe make them and try one and let everyone else finish them?

    Pey-Lih – yum, fried pickles ;)

    Cheryl – she does… She just can’t move like one anymore.

    farmerpam – mmmm, so good! Your kids are lucky to have such a nice mom!

    jill – no, I think she was having trouble hearing us!

    Rocky Mountain Woman – :)

    Ami – they are super awesome. You should buy 2 jars next time and fry one of them ;)

  17. CoffeeGrounded says:

    Oh my goodness…fried pickles AND Miss K.!

    Your pickles are beautiful, Jenzie. I’ve never attempted making them at home, but have enjoyed them alongside burgers and barbeque. Yum, yum, yummy to the tummy.

    Rarely do I fry anything. Hubby is banned from such items and M2 isn’t into anything but olive oil. Every once in awhile I will break all the rules of the household and make Eggplant Parmesan.

    (Hugs and kisses to Kaweah. She looks as beautiful as ever!)

  18. Kristin says:

    Fried zucchini!!! Yes!! This is why you are the blogger & I am the reader!!

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