Hye Thyme Cafe: White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles

White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles: Hye Thyme Cafe

The first time I encountered fried dill pickles was when I was living in New Orleans. They were served at a bar around the corner from the office, where we used to go for lunch. For any locals reading this, it was Lucy’s on Tchopitoulas (Wow, I didn’t even have to look up how to spell that). They made a great burger back then too. It’s been a while, so I don’t know if the same is true now – on either count, the burgers or the pickles.

I have been wanting to try making fried pickles for a while now. When shopping for pickle chips, I also needed cheese, which reminded me of my first year at college. For some reason, I used to like to cut slices of Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese, quarter the slices into four little squares, then cut baby dill pickles into coins and sandwich a piece of cheese and a slice of pickle between two Cheez-It crackers. I have no idea what first possessed me to do that - and no, I wasn’t stoned!
*:-O surprise *O:-) angel  

Sooooooooo, I decided to play around with that memory and use White Cheddar Cheez-Its as the coating for my fried pickles. Just be aware from the pictures below that I prepped way too much of everything. I was apparently preparing to bread a big batch of chicken rather than some tiny pickles. Even had I used the whole jar of pickles, that still would have been too much. Looks like I’ll have to use all those cracker crumbs to top my next Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Hmm, or maybe in some sort of apple dessert.

As for the flour, I chose to use rice flour, because I caught an episode of The Chew a while back, when Carla Hall mentioned using rice flour on her fried chicken to make it extra crispy. That little tidbit (Not trying to be punny using tidbit in the same post as Cheez-It – do they still make Tid-Bits?) stuck with me all this time, and I had some rice flour on hand, so …

Dill Pickle Chips
Flour (rice flour – optional) mixed with a bit of cayenne if you like heat
Crushed White Cheddar Cheez-It Crackers
Oil for frying (I used canola, but peanut would be good too)
Optional – dipping sauce (I like a little Sriracha / sour cream or yogurt)
  1. Blot the pickles on paper towels to absorb the excess juice.
  2. Set up a dredging station with little bowls of milk / flour / cracker crumbs.
  3. Dip each pickle slice first in the milk, then the flour, the milk again, and the crackers last.
  4. Heat at least ½” of oil (I like a small deep pot – small to use less oil – deep to prevent spatter) to 350 degrees and fry the pickles in small batches until golden.
  5. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any grease.
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
WARNING: Although you blotted the pickles, they still contain plenty of liquid, which is now lava hot, so DO NOT attempt to eat one right away! Let them sit for a few minutes.

Due to my apartment’s lousy lighting and my lack of skill with a camera, my pics do make them look kinda greasy, but I can assure you that they do not look that way in person. They would really only be greasy if you fried them at too low a temp.  When frying, a thermometer is your friend - too low, and the food will be greasy - too high, and the outside will be cooked, but not the center. Of course, pickle slices are thin, so it's not really an issue here.

White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles: Hye Thyme Cafe

White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles: Hye Thyme Cafe
White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles: Hye Thyme Cafe

White Cheddar Cheez-It Fried Pickles: Hye Thyme Cafe

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