fried pickle chips

Fried Pickle Chips with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

It’s funny how I planned to create content for the blog this past weekend, and, well…I didn’t.

Ironically, I had planned to cook this past Sunday. I, instead, spent most of the day cooking baked cheese grits, sauteed Brussels sprouts with homemade bacon salt, pea greens sauteed with garlic, and cinnamon rolls from scratch, all while splitting a bottle of champagne with my dear friend Emilie.

Despite all of that cooking, none of that aforementioned food was photographed for the blog. However, my stomach was quite content. My equilibrium was also a bit on the tilt.

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Well-composed iPhone shots. Haaa.

So, as I work on new blog content today to post through the rest of the week, I’m reaching back into my annals for this “new” recipe…

As Superbowl Sunday approaches, I fall squarely into the niche of “I could give a shit about football, I don’t watch for the insane commercials like I used to, but I will eat all of your nachos”. Last year, my two former roommates Emily and Liz, plus our doggie roomie Ellie, decided to have a small Super Bowl gathering at our apartment, if only to gorge on food. Indeed, I did whip up some recipes for us to share, such as a Caramelized Onion & Brussels Sprout Pizza and Fried Pickle Chips with a garlic-lemon aioli. They both scored touchdowns!

(Oh. God. I can’t believe I just said that.)

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The pickle chips were a bit of a process to create, because frying something with a high water content means preparation is key. I recall having to lay pickle chips on paper towels atop our breakfast bar; in turn, I also had to keep an eye on Ellie as she hungrily eyed the veritable buffet of pickle chips in front of her.

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These make for great Super Bowl fare, plain and simple.

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Fried Pickle Chips with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:

Fried Pickle Chips:

– 1 24-ounce jar of dill pickle chips, patted dry
– 2 cups vegetable oil
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 3/4 cup seltzer water

Lemon-Garlic Aioli:
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– 4 garlic cloves, pressed or ground with mortar; 1 teaspoon garlic powder can be substituted
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Salt, to taste
– Dash of chili powder (optional)

Before We Get Started…

– Stick to vegetable oil while frying the pickle chips; grapeseed would be an acceptable other option. I would not recommend olive oil for frying; I’m not preaching about low smoke points necessarily, but I think frying with two cups of it is a waste of perfectly good olive oil, if I can be frank!

– For frying, I would highly suggest investing in a deep-dry thermometer. Even if your heat is set at a constant setting, oil temperatures can fluctuate. It’s important to keep the temperature constant.

Directions:

1.) Remove pickles from jar, reserving pickle juice. Place a layer of paper towels over a cooling rack. Place chips on paper towels and apply additional paper towels to cover them; allow to drain for 30 minutes. Remove paper towels and pat dry to remove any leftover moisture. Place chips on plate and set aside. Place fresh paper towels over a cooling rack or on a plate; these will be used to drain pickle chips after frying is completed.

2.) Using a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan or a dutch oven, bring 2 cups of vegetable oil to 350°F over medium heat.

3.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup seltzer water until batter is of a uniform consistency.

4.) In small batches (I recommend six to eight chips at a time), coat chips with batter, allowing any excess to drop off. Slowly add pickle slices to oil. Fry on one side for 60 – 90 seconds before flipping; cook on other side for 60 – 90 seconds or until the chips are overall crisp and golden brown in color. Remove chips from oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on the fresh paper towels.

5.) For lemon-garlic aioli, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Add salt to taste. Add optional chili powder, if desired.

6.) Serve chips, while still warm, with aioli.

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