So I've noticed that though the name of my blog is pretty original if I do say so myself, there isn't a lot of food on here that I would truly call "Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine." I guess it's moreso a reflection of cooking being MY quarter-life crisis, this new obsession with messing up my kitchen on a daily basis. But what, exactly, does quarter-life cuisine look like in terms of food that you love in your early 20s, but probably not once you've made it in the world as a true adult?
I'm pretty sure deep fried pickles are a prime example.
I first heard of these strange little thingies when Local Burger came to town. I loved their fresh tasting burgers, hand-cut fries, and crazy Cap'n Crunch breaded chicken tenders, but I steered clear of the deep fried pickles. Too weird.
Suddenly, they were everywhere. Slices, wedges, full pickles, all deep fried and served with some creamy dipping sauce. Trying them soon became inevitable.
So, one night, at the boyfriend's favorite local bar, a friend of mine flirted her way into a free basket of deep fried pickles. I had sipped down about three Three Olives Grape and sprites, so I was more than ready to try a slice.
Though the first one burnt the skin off the roof of my mouth, I knew it was love. The crunchy breading, the sweet and salty dill pickle inside--warm, not the cold-crisp of the refrigerator--with the ranch dipping sauce was the absolute perfect pub food. I looked at the menu to see how much they'd be if I did not have a flirty friend to get me free food and was shocked at the price. I COULD MAKE THESE MYSELF! I declared, and as soon as we got home I tried to do just that.
Note to self: after three-plus drinks at a bar, do not attempt cooking things. I ended up forgetting the egg wash and all the bread fell off in the oil.
Here's a much better version, that will no doubt work a lot better sober.
Deep Fried Pickles with Easy Dill Dip
(This one's 100% from my own mind, folks! But We Are Not Martha posted a similar recipe recently that inspired me to write this post at this time.)
For the Pickles:
- a handful of dill pickle spears (in my mind, no other pickle will do, but you are free to sub for any you wish)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, whisked
- oil for frying
For the Easy Dill Dip
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- handful of fresh dill
- salt and pepper, to taste
Cut pickles to desired size. Blot the pickle spears dry with a paper towel then roll in the flour until lightly coated. Then dip into the egg and let excess drip off. Roll in Panko until covered completely.
Heat oil in a saucepan, deep enough to cover the spears a little bit. Let heat over medium-high until dropping a bread crumb or two into the oil makes it sizzle. Drop the breaded pickles into the pan in batches. Let them cook until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon.
For the dip: Mix ingredients together and serve pickles with a healthy dollop.