sriracha pickles

I might be one of the last holdouts listening Howard Stern on Sirius/XM, and this morning he’s riffing on how ridiculous the Super Bowl Media Day is and why would anyone send a radio personality to the event. (For the Millennials out there, Howard Stern was a famous morning DJ “shock jock” who ruled the morning airwaves during the ’80s and ’90s and was so famous, he produced a few best sellers and a highly regarded biopic before disappearing into space and satellite radio. Think of him as an older Drew Magary “average-guy-raging-against-the-machine-but-with-a-softer-side-talking-his-wife-and-kids” prototype, but with strippers.)

I bring this up because we typically equate Media Day with the wacky foreign press — the same wacky foreign press that allowed THE TOURIST to be nominated for a Golden Globe — and bizarre interviews, players singing for ‘American Idol’ promos, random marriage proposals and the ilk. It’s often looked down upon by the serious media establishment as nothing but frivolity and a morass of lower-tier journalism.

But so far today, I’ve read retractions from Peter King in Sports Illustrated, seen Pittsburgh misspelled three times in one article and sifted through one of the more obtuse pieces on Ben Roethlisberger to date. (More on the latter article later, as it deserves a more serious post than one about pickles.)

Media Day or not, this section of Super Bowl news cycle is already a circus. I’m more than ready to fast-forward through the rest of the week and get to the game.

Sriracha Fried Pickles

Possibly one of the all-time greatest bar foods is fried pickles, a snack I hold above mozzarella sticks and fried zucchini.

So when The Gurgling Cod told me about how they preferred making pimento cheese with Rick’s Picks products a few months ago, I scouted their online store for local distributors to make sure I bought the proper prescribed pepper. Imagine my amazement when I saw they sold sriracha pickles. Could it be? A way to improve my beloved fried pickle? I could barely contain my excitement as I bought a jar at my local cheese shop. Spicy, cut thick enough to endure frying, locally sourced pickles? Okay, so I bought more than just one jar.

Beer battered in the same style as our Stone Arrogant Bastard Mashed Potato Balls, substituting a light pilsner for the dark ale to better match the spices of sriracha, these fried pickles disappear as quickly as you can make them.

You will need…

1 24 ounce jar of Rick’s Picks Hotties, or other spicy pickles marinated in sriracha sauce
12-14 ounces of pilsner beer, preferably highly carbonated variety like Miller High Life for a light batter
2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted for batter, plus 1/2 to a 3/4 cup of flour for dredging
2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus a dash more for the flour dredge
2 teaspoons chili powder, plus a dash more for the flour dredge
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
Oil for frying

Ranch dressing and sriracha for serving.

If you don’t have time to order Rick’s Pick’s Hotties in time for the Super Bowl and they’re not sold at any of your local markets, I recommend Kruegermann’s Spicy Garlic Pickles for your fried pickle needs. They are packed whole, so you can slice them about 1/4-1/2 inch thick for even frying. I experimented marinating the Kruegermann’s in a touch of sriracha sauce for a couple of hours before draining them for battering with fairly decent results, but they were not quite the same as the Rick’s Picks.

Either way, you’re going to going to have a pretty kick-ass hot pickle.

Mix together the flour, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.  Work in the cold beer a few ounces at a time with a whisk until it forms a paste and stir until all the flour lumps are broken down.

Then stir in the rest of the beer until the batter reaches the desired consistency. It should be thick, but not so thick and heavy it doesn’t drizzle off your whisk or spoon. It usually takes between 12-14 ounces of beer to reach this stage.

(Hey, am I just cutting and pasting these directions from my other beer batter recipes? I believe I am! If it works, no need to fix it.)

Cover with plastic wrap and let the batter rest in the fridge for at least 30 to 45 minutes and up to a few hours. A cold beer batter fries better than a warm beer batter. I am sure there is some sort of Alton Brown-eque science behind why cold beer batter ends up puffier than warm beer batter, but what that magic may be I do not know, nor do I feel like looking up now that I’m more than 1200 words into this post. Let’s say the cold beer batter fries better because of… Um, well.. Miniature ice bombs exploding when they hit the hot oil. That sounds about right.

(Yep, still using the copy from my other post.)

While the batter is resting, drain and pat dry your pickle slices. This helps the flour and batter stick to them properly. Also helps the frying process by not having too much water hit the oil, making for a crisper, chewier batter and a firmer pickle.

On a small plate, toss a little flour with a dash of both the garlic powder and the chili powder. This way the seasoning carries through all three layers; pickle, flour, beer batter. You never want to have a “blank” layer of taste.

Lightly flour each one of the pickle slices, the flour will help the batter stick to the pickles, and set on a lined baking sheet.

Put the pickles in the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes so they’re easier to handle when coating and frying. If you’re not frying them right away, cover with plastic and just set in the refrigerator.

Once ready to fry, heat about an inch of oil in a frying pan to 350º.

Dip the pickles in the batter and drop in the hot oil.

Working in small batches — remember the first rule of frying is to keep your oil as hot as possible, and a crowded pan means cold oil and soggy, grease-soaked food –  fry for a couple of minutes on each side. The batter should puff up and turn a nice golden brown.

Drain on paper towels and serve with ranch dressing and additional sriracha sauce for dipping. See how the plate is already half empty? That’s what happened between the time I took the photo at the top, went in the kitchen to get my camera and came back out to get an “action” shot of the pickles.

Tip! Warn your guests that it’s sriracha sauce and not marinara sauce on the plate! Unless you enjoy watching the look of shock on one of your best friend’s faces. (Which I have to admit, was pretty funny.)

Same story as with the Spicy Peanut Butter Honey Chicken Tenders:

The last time I made fried pickles for football, the Steelers played the Ravens. The game ended with this:

Which ended up as one of the photos on our Christmas card.

Here we go.

Sriracha Fried Pickles
Print
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Fried
Author: sarah sprague @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 1 hour 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6
Snazzy, spicy pickles made even better by frying!
Ingredients
  • 1 24 ounce jar of Rick’s Picks Hotties, or other spicy pickles marinated in sriracha sauce
  • 12-14 ounces of pilsner beer, preferably highly carbonated variety like Miller High Life for a light batter
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted for batter, plus 1/2 to a 3/4 cup of flour for dredging
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus a dash more for the flour dredge
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, plus a dash more for the flour dredge
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flour, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Work in the cold beer a few ounces at a time with a whisk until it forms a paste and stir until all the flour lumps are broken down.
  2. Then stir in the rest of the beer until the batter reaches the desired consistency. It should be thick, but not so thick and heavy it doesn’t drizzle off your whisk or spoon. It usually takes between 12-14 ounces of beer to reach this stage.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let the batter rest in the fridge for at least 30 to 45 minutes and up to a few hours.
  4. While the batter is resting, drain and pat dry your pickle slices.
  5. On a small plate, toss a little flour with a dash of both the garlic powder and the chili powder. This way the seasoning carries through all three layers; pickle, flour, beer batter. You never want to have a “blank” layer of taste.
  6. Lightly flour each one of the pickle slices, the flour will help the batter stick to the pickles, and set on a lined baking sheet.
  7. Put the pickles in the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes so they’re easier to handle when coating and frying. If you’re not frying them right away, cover with plastic and just set in the refrigerator.
  8. Once ready to fry, heat about an inch of oil in a frying pan to 350º.
  9. Dip the pickles in the batter and drop in the hot oil.
  10. Working in small batches — remember the first rule of frying is to keep your oil as hot as possible, and a crowded pan means cold oil and soggy, grease-soaked food – fry for a couple of minutes on each side. The batter should puff up and turn a nice golden brown.
  11. Drain on paper towels and serve with ranch dressing and additional sriracha sauce for dipping.
Notes

Prep time includes batter resting time.

 

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7 Responses to Sriracha Fried Pickles: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Doug Sopfe, A.J. Barravecchio II, The Steelers n'at, Ryan G, sarah sprague and others. sarah sprague said: One of my favorite recipes of the year! "28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Sriracha Fried Pickles" http://bit.ly/g8dig7 [...]

  2. Scooper says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Had fried pickles a few weeks ago for the 1st time – yum!

  3. [...] 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Sriracha Fried Pickles. Media Day or not, this section of Super Bowl news cycle is already a circus. I’m more than ready to fast-forward through the rest of the week and get to the game. Possibly one of the all-time greatest bar foods is fried pickles, a snack I hold above mozzarella sticks and fried zucchini. … [Sarah Sprague] [...]

  4. [...] did the Sriricha Fried Pickles and the Artichoke Bites from this list of 28 Super Bowl recipes, and they were awesome. The Fried Pickles in particular will be made again. A simple beer-batter [...]

  5. [...] player of all-time or favorite Star Wars movie, it’s just too hard to choose! But probably Sriracha Fried Pickles or Blue Cheese Pierogies with Buffalo Sauce. Or Smoky Habanero Jalapeno Popper Bread. I said it [...]

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