I wanted to come up with a playful title for this post but I just couldn't! I don't understand why exactly, I'm sure I could find some inherent quality, characteristic, or flavor in these pickles that would make for a good play on words title, but nope, didn't happen. Maybe it's because this dish is ridiculously straightforward. Come on, it's a sweet gherkin, dipped in flour, egg, panko and finally fried in a hot oily bath. Have you ever heard of such a thing? A deep fried pickle that is. I hadn't. Seeing as such I didn't use a recipe to make these. I winged it.
I needed a fun bite pre-dinner with our cocktails for our anniversary dinner on Sunday, preferably something southern-esque and thus in my mind fried. At first I harkened back to the deep fried macaroni and cheese squares I made only a couple of weeks ago. Then I realized that was an awfully bad idea, I couldn't serve my guests deep fried cheese and pasta. With pulled pork, egg buns, and sweet potato fries I was sure to send someone to the hospital for open heart surgery if I stuffed them full of deep fried mac and cheese before a dinner with all that fatty goodness even got started. Okay, so, let's fry something a bit healthier I thought. Now, I know what you might be thinking brine-y sweet pickles are not the healthiest option, but they're also no mac and cheese. I have to say that they were popular with half the group, and disliked by the other half. I had no expectations really, it was a fun little kitchen experiment before dinner. You'll know whether you're interested in attempting this appetizer, it's one of those dishes that either intrigues you or doesn't. If you're curious here's how I did it:
Deep Fried Sweet Baby Gherkins
16 gherkins (I actually mixed a few sour cornichon in the batch too)
1/3 cup ap flour, in a small bowl
1 egg, lightly beaten, in a small bowl
1 cup panko, in a small bowl
2 cups vegetable oil in a dutch oven heated to 350 F
1. Roll each pickle in flour, then dip in egg, finally dredge in panko.
2. Place pickles 4 or 5 at at time in the hot oil. Fry for 30 seconds to a minute until lightly golden brown.
3. Place on a paper towel to drain of excess oil.
4. Plate and serve with sweet mustard.
If you give this a try, I'd love to know what your thoughts are about it since it got such mixed reviews from my nearest and dearest!