Fried Pickles with Spicy Ranch

So, I went to Trader Joe’s over the weekend. That might not be exciting for all of you fancy people who live around a TJ’s, but for me it’s big news. The closest TJ’s is three hours away, so trips there are sacred.

I like to stock up on all of my favorites, since I only go a few times a year. That’s completely reasonable. Stocking up on things is what grown ups do.

I bought 4 pounds of dark chocolate peanut butter cups, a pound of caramel candies, 2 jars of their salted caramel, and a jar of cookie butter. Again, reasonable. I was being grown up.

Do you know what the cashier said to me as I was paying?

“Are you having a candy eating contest today?”

The shame. It cripples me.

Let’s not talk about that anymore. Let’s talk about my deep fried pickles instead.

Have you guys ever had fried pickles? The first time I tried them they were the pickle spears and they were not so good. The pickle to batter ratio was way off, in my opinion. You really want to fry the pickle chips instead. Maximum batter coverage is the way to go when it comes to fried pickles. I also like them nice and salty. You might cut down on the salt in the batter if you don’t like your fried foods to be salty. You can always salt them as they come out of the oil if you change your mind.

I keep things simple and just mix together some flour, milk, pickle juice, and a bit of seasoning. These are seriously as easy as can be. And when they’re dipped in spicy ranch? Holy heck, you guys.

Fried Pickles with Spicy Ranch

Ingredients:

For the pickles:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup pickle juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
dill pickle chips, as many as you'll eat (the batter will cover a cup or two worth of pickles)
For the Spicy Ranch:
1/4 cup bottled Ranch dressing
2 teaspoons Frank's Hot Sauce (or any hot sauce you prefer), more or less to taste

Directions:

Add a couple of inches of oil to a deep skillet set over medium heat. Bring to 375 degrees.
While the oil is heating, combine the flour, milk, pickle juice, paprika, and salt in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Mix until well combined.
Drop the pickles in the batter and stir them around until completely coated.
When the oil is hot, drop pickles one by one into the oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip the pickles over after about 1 minute and continue cooking another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the batter is golden and crunchy.
Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
To make the Spicy Ranch:
Combine the ranch dressing and hot sauce in a small bowl. Add more or less hot sauce to taste.