What’s For Dinner?
Fried Pickles With Hot Pink Dipping Sauce - from Smokejack
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
FROM THE MENU OF . . . SMOKEJACK
29 S. Main St.
Q: I took a customer to Smokejack in Alpharetta, and he loved the fried pickles and dipping sauce. I thought it would be great if I could find a recipe for him.
-- Diane Bullens, Alpharetta
A: If the people of Thailand deep-fried dill pickles -- and they don't, because they have more sense than that -- they would certainly appreciate chef John Umberger's trick of using tapioca starch, a Thai ingredient, in the breading. "It's like a chef's secret, " he said. "Out of the fryer it's super-crispy, and it stays crisp." Combined with Smokejack owner Dave Filipowicz's tireless search for the perfect pickles -- he found them in Canada, where they may very well fry the things -- the restaurant has created a ridiculously perfect snack food.
Hands on time: 15 minutes Total time: 45 minutes Serves: 4
1 (16-ounce) jar dill pickle chips, drained
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce
Vegetable oil for frying
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the tapioca starch, corn meal, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and chili sauce to make the dipping sauce and set aside. In a fryer or deep pot, heat 1 to 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees.
Drain the pickles and dredge in the tapioca mixture. Shake off the excess and drop the pickles in the hot oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, turning once or twice, until they are golden brown. Remove the pickles from the oil and drain them on paper towels.
Serve the pickles hot with the dipping sauce on the side.
Smokejack chef John Umberger says this breading recipe is also excellent for fried seafood, such as calamari.