Friday, April 30, 2010

Fried Friday

Rachel here: This past Christmas, my mom gave John a subscription to the Food Network's magazine. While I try to let John read it first when it arrives in the mail, I'd be lying if I said that I don't also read it cover to cover each month. There's always a huge mix of recipes, some of which get my mouth watering and others which don't. In the most recent issue, though, there was something that I just knew I had to make and pronto: fried pickles.

Ok, so all pregnant women like pickles, or so the folk lore seems to go. I, however, have always loved pickles. Growing up we each had a special Christmas ornament; mine was a pickle. On my birthday? Yup, more years than not I receive a card that is in the shape of a pickle. Pickles, I guess you could say, are kind of my thing. Throw pregnancy into the mix and, well, you get the picture. I had never had a fried pickle before I made these and I will definitely be having them again. In case you're not a pickle fanatic, I'll let you know that John isn't either and he devoured these.

1 egg
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. cornstarch, divided
1/2 c. corn meal
2 T. chopped fresh dill
2 tspn. paprika
salt and pepper
3 dozen pickle slices (I bought really good pickles and sliced them myself, though certainly pre-sliced would work)

In a bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk and a hearty dash of cayenne. In a separate bowl, place 1/4 c. of cornstarch. In a third bowl, mix the remaining cornstarch, cornmeal, dill, paprika, salt and pepper. Dip the pickle slices in the plain cornstarch, then the egg mix, and finally into the cornmeal mixture. Fry in 2 inches of canola oil until golden brown. Drain on a towel.
*The magazine suggests serving with ranch dressing to dip in. I sliced a baguette, toasted the slices, smeared cream cheese on them and then topped with the fried pickles. It was super yummy.

Janet here: While I, too, was intrigued by the idea of fried pickles, I thought it was best to leave this for the pregnant part of this duo. Instead I decided to make my own fries, something I've thought about but never actually done. While the result was not quite as crispy as I would like, I was pretty pleased with this first attempt and think there are going to be a lot more homemade fries on our family's dinner table.

French Fries
serve 3 or 4

2 teaspoons canola oil
3 large potatoes, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
salt to taste
Mrs. Dash's seasoning blend or whatever seasoning you want to taste. I used the Southwest Chipotle but the possibilities are endless of your own variation: garlic, red peppers, whatever.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Wash and cut the potatoes. I did mine by slicing the potato in half lengthwise and then slicing each half into slabs that I then cut into 1/4 inch strips. Some of the longer strips I cut in half, but it all depends on how you like your fries.

Place the potato, oil, salt and seasoning in a big bowl and mix well. Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray. (I use Pam organic canola oil.) Place the mixture on the sheet in one layer. Bake for 35 minutes.

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