As a “northerner”, there are a lot of foods that I feel it took me far too long to discover. I’ve fallen in love with BBQ brisket, pecan pie, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, and chicken fried steak all within the past few years.
There’s no denying that there’s some delicious dishes to be had down south, but one really surprised me as a New Jersey native: Fried Pickles.
Fried Pickles sounded gross to me when I first heard about them, but in the spirit of trying anything once (especially anything fried), I gave them a try in North Carolina a few years back. Oh my.
Snooki from Jersey Shore called eating fried pickles “a life-changing experience”, and while Snooki and I don’t exactly have a history of shared sentiments, I’ve got to agree with her on that one.
It’s not an exaggeration.
They were tangy, crispy, crunchy, and not nearly as heavy and oily as a lot of fried foods. Fried Pickles stole my heart that day, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was when I saw Fried Pickles on a menu in NJ for the first time.
I’ve become a biiiit of a Fried Pickle fanatic.
So why has it taken me so long to make Fried Pickles for the blog? Well, I really hate deep frying, so I was trying to come up with an easier fry-method, and lets be serious, Fried Pickles the “regular way” have been done to death.
I had to get creative, so naturally my mind went to cheese. Cheese-Stuffed Fried Pickles.
FRIED PICKLE POPPERS. Have you ever imagined a more perfect finger food?
I used an apple corer to cut out the insides of kosher dills. Then, I spooned cheddar & horseradish pub cheese into the opening (pimento cheese would be great here too), and tried my best not to eat all of the cheesy pickles as they were.
Then I took egg roll wrappers and rolled the pickles up in them, and pan fried them until golden brown on all sides.
They rested briefly on a wire rack to cool as I hovered over them, rubbing my hands in anticipation.
Finally, I cut the Fried Pickle Poppers in half and dipped them in Chipotle Mayo before scarfing them down, and I have to say, they were even better than the Fried Pickle Chips I was used to ordering.
Not to mention, these make amazing appetizers for parties, get-togethers, or watching sporting events. These Fried Pickle Poppers were eaten while watching a World Cup game, and they will be made again for the Super Bowl this year (and many times in between that). Make them once and you’ll be just as obsessed as I am!
FOR THE FRIED PICKLE POPPERS:
- 6 kosher dill pickles
- 1 cup cheddar & horseradish pub cheese (pimento cheese or even softened cream cheese would also work well here)
- 6 egg roll wrappers
- Oil, for pan-frying
FOR THE CHIPOTLE MAYO DIP:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Using an apple corer, remove the centers of the pickles. To do this, stand the pickle straight up, twist the corer to break the pickle skin, and then push it down until you reach the opposite end of the pickle. Twist and pull towards you to remove the inside of the pickle. You can discard these centers or save them to use in relish, macaroni salad, potato salad, or tartar sauce.
- Spoon the pub cheese into the cored pickle, pressing it in until the pickle is full. You will want to hold your thumb against the opposite end of the pickle to make sure that the filling doesn’t squeeze out as you’re pushing more in.
- Once the pickles are filled with cheese, get out your egg roll wrappers. Take one pickle and lay it in the center of an egg roll wrapper. You want the egg roll wrapper to be angled so that it looks like a diamond, with the pickle going down the center.
- Fold over one side of the egg roll wrapper to cover the pickle. Then, fold up the bottom end and fold down the top end. Dip a finger in water and run it over the unfolded side of the wrapper. Then, roll it up tightly. You should have a traditional egg roll shape now! Repeat with the remaining pickles.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, fill about 1/2″ high with oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the pickles. Pan fry until golden brown all around, turning to cook evenly.
- Remove the pickles from heat and place on a rack or track to cool.
- As the pickles cool, add the Chipotle Mayo Dip ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until well-combined.
- Serve the Fried Pickle Poppers warm with the Chipotle Mayo Dip.