fair enough: baked dill pickle chips

The Del Mar Fair is possibly the best example of American overindulgence in existence. Fair food is overpriced, needlessly extravagant, and unapologetically greasy. Blooming onions, chocolate-covered bacon, potato chip towers, funnel cakes that serve 12 people, fried chicken sandwiches made with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and just about everything you could possibly think of deep-fried (Oreos, Kool-Aid, zucchini, Starbucks, brownies, Snickers bars, and butter, to name a few).

I love junk food; I'm not usually a fan of really oil-soaked, over-portioned junk food (because you can't eat as much of it), but I will always make exceptions for giant smoked turkey legs, churros, jumbo pickles, Tasti chips, fried clams, and cinnamon rolls. But last year pre-Singapore, I decided to go all out for my last month of American food for a while, and I found something I really liked (no, not the Krispy Kreme fried chicken sandwich; don't be disgusting). Fried pickles! I had no idea such things existed (I'd always steered clear of the chocolate-dipped ones). But as it turns out, they're a popular Southern treat. Smashburger has really great ones also. And thus, my entire world opened up.

I used this recipe from Lemons for Lulu and combined it with this Hooters copycat recipe. I decided to bake them because it's healthier, and more importantly because I'm scared of the deep-fryer. But I found that these still maintain a great crunchy texture with a nice kick of spice on the outside, and are juicy and tender on the inside. You can play around with the spices and breading to your liking, but I chose to coat them with an egg-buttermilk mixture and then a Parmesan-panko blend.

Some of you will hate this recipe. But you will be wrong, because they are delicious. Save your judgment for the fried butter.

BAKED DILL PICKLE CHIPS

Yields: Three trays of pickle chips
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes

pickles

1 jar dill pickles, sliced

coating

1 cup buttermilk (optional, but I find they coat better with buttermilk)
2 eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese (also optional, but the flavors are so good)
1 cup flour
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add panko and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes-stirring continually.

Place panko in a bowl, add spices. Place flour in a second bowl and egg whites/buttermilk in a third bowl. Slice pickles into chips and pat dry.

Dip pickles in flour, then egg white mixture, and lastly into the panko crumbs. Arrange pickles in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, flip, and then bake for another 8 minutes.

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These are best piping-hot, right out of the oven. You could save them too, but I doubt they'll even last that long on the table. Pair with a 32-ounce frozen Coca-Cola and a bucket of cotton candy for that classic Del Mar Fair experience.

Enjoy! And catch you at the fair ^_^ I'll be there on the 27th for Trevor Noah.

 

HAPPENING MEOW