Fried Pickles w/Ranch Dip

If you know me…then you know I can be a little forgetful at times.
Ok, for those of you that really know me…you know I can be really forgetful at times.
It’s like my constant challenge in life to keep my head on straight…do not forget keys…do not forget cell phone…make sure said cell phone is charged…do not leave purse in dressing room…do not leave luggage on conveyor belt at security and proceed merrily through the airport without a care in the world (sigh…true story).
Memory is a weird thing…I will often forget the simplest things…but when I decided to post about Super Bowl recipes, my mind immediately reeled back to a certain Pretzel-Crusted Fried Pickles recipe showcased on the very last page of Food Network Magazine in June of 2010.  Why did I remember that just like I had read it yesterday? It is a phenomenon I will never understand.
But I’m sure glad I did because this was one of the most interesting, fun, and strangely delicious things I’ve made in a long time. This got lots of oohs and ahhs from my guests as well…except for 2-year old Nate who promptly declared, “yucky”…gotcha, buddy.
Pretzel-Crusted Fried Pickles w/Ranch Dip

peanut oil, for frying

6 large dill pickles, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 cups salted mini pretzels
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
Heat 1/2 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently pat the pickles dry with a paper towel.
Put the pretzels in a large resealable plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs using a rolling pin or heavy pan.  Place in a shallow dish.  Whisk the eggs in a second shallow dish and put the flour in a third shallow dish.
Dredge the pickle slices in the flour, shaking of any excess; dip in the beaten eggs, then in the pretzel crumbs, turning to coat.
Working in batches, fry the pickles until golden and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels and lightly sprinkle with kosher coat while still warm.
Serve warm with Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.
This was a great chance to pick up some of these amazing Alexander Valley Gourmet pickles (recently renamed Sonoma Brinery). I first sampled these and met the pickle maker himself at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival I attended last November, and I had the pleasure to say hello to him again at the Fancy Food Show earlier this month. He is such a sweet guy and totally committed to making awesome pickles (and sauerkraut!). I highly recommend picking these up if you attempt the recipe (you can find them at Whole Foods).
Just don’t even think about using anything other than Hidden Valley Ranch for the dip…and it must be the Buttermilk Recipe.  Did you all know there is regular and buttermilk?  Well, there is…and the buttermilk is like 9,000 times better…and we’ll just pretend like it doesn’t come pre-made in a bottle…so not the same…and so not worth the calories.
This, on the other hand….totally worth the calories.
PS..If this doesn’t get you excited for Super Bowl commercials, I don’t know what will.

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