Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fried Big Papa Dill Pickle Chips with Habanero Utah Sauce

     Fried Dill Pickles And Spicy Fry Sauce!
     State fair snack food vendors deep fry just about anything to make money.  Fried Twinkies, Oreos, Ice Cream, Cheesecake and Macaroni Bites are just a few of the items that are deep fried at state fairs.  The undisputed king of deep fried snack food is still the corn dog, but my personal favorite is beer batter fried pizza. 
     Fried dill pickle chips have been a popular item in recent years.  Fried dill pickle chips started off as a state fair circuit snack food.  Now just about every junk food restaurant offers fried dill pickles on the menu. 
     There are several ways to make fried dill pickle chips.  Pickle chips that are damp with brine can be dredged in a corn meal & cracker crumb breading mixture before frying.  When this method is used, the breading mixture minimally clings to the pickle chips.  Beer batter pickle chips is another style, but beer batter retains a lot of grease.  Dipping pickle chips in buttermilk before breading produces a crunchy crisp coating.  This is the style that I chose for today's recipe.

     Utah Sauce is a simple french fry dipping sauce that is made with 2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part ketchup.  Utah Sauce was created in the late 1940's at a restaurant in northern Utah.  Utah Sauce became popular in Idaho and then restaurants nationwide started to offer Utah Sauce with just about any kind of fried food and hamburgers.  Most people called this concoction Fry Sauce and in some places this name stuck.  The Utah Sauce name eventually changed to Fry Sauce just about everywhere, but a few old fashioned restaurants out west still call this dipping sauce by its original name.
     Utah Sauce can be modified by adding an ingredient or two, but if the sauces character is changed to the point of not really tasting like Utah Sauce, then it is better to give the dipping sauce a different name.  Simply spicing up Utah Sauce with habanero hot sauce is within the bounds, as long as only a little bit of the spicy hot sauce is added.  Habanero Utah Sauce is a nice dipping sauce for fried dill pickle chips!

     When choosing a dill pickle for making pickle chips, select a high quality dill pickle that is larger than average.  In America, Van Holten Pickles are a popular summertime snack. These pickles are individually packaged and sold at convenience stores.  A chilled big dill pickle on a hot summer day is refreshing.  
     Van Holten offers a variety of pickle snack products and the most popular is the Big Mama Spicy Hot Dill Pickle.  The Van Holten's Big Papa Dill Pickle has a classic mild spicy flavor.  
     The reason that I chose to use a big Van Holten's Pickle is because their pickles are looked upon as being gourmet items by regular down home folks everywhere in America.  When Big Mama Dill is mentioned in this country, everybody knows what is being talked about.  Van Holten's pickles are so popular, that Van Holten's actually markets Big Papa Dill Lip Balm!  

     Habanero Hot Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 2 cups of extra spicy hot sauce!
     Ripe orange color habanero peppers can be found at nearly any Asian food market, Mexican food market or regular grocery store.  
     This recipe is written in a way that minimumizes direct contact with the habanero peppers.  A food processor, blender or blending wand is required for pureeing this sauce.  The sauce is pureed twice, so it becomes a very smooth consistency.
     Step 1:  Remove the stems from 1/2 pound of orange habanero peppers. 
     Use a knife to slice halfway through each pepper, but do not cut the peppers in half.
     Step 2:  Place the peppers in a stainless steel sauce pot.
     Add enough water to cover the peppers, with 2" of extra water.
     Add 4 cloves of garlic.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped onion.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/4 cup of cider vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper.
     Step 3:  Place the pot over low heat.
     Gently simmer till the peppers become very soft.  (About 1 1/2 to 2 hours.)
     *Allow the liquid to reduce.  Only add enough water to keep the peppers covered with 1" of extra liquid.
     Step 4:  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the ingredients to cool to room temperature.
     Puree the ingredients with an electric blending wand, a food processor or a blender.
     Step 5:  Return the puree to the stainless steel pot.
     Place the pot over low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin puree sauce consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 6:  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the ingredients to cool to room temperature.
     Puree the sauce a second time, so it becomes very smooth.
     *Orange habanero hot sauce has a long shelf life if the sauce is kept refrigerated.

     Habanero Utah Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 generous portion.
     Place 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 2 tablespoons of organic ketchup.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of habanero sauce.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the Habanero Utah Sauce in a ramekin.
     Chill the sauce till it is needed.

     Corn Meal Breading:
     This recipe yields a little more than what is needed for 1 portion of fried pickle chips.
     Any extra breading mix can be sifted and frozen.  
     Place 1/2 cup of fine ground corn meal in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 cup of masa harina.  (nixtamal corn flour)
     Add 1/3 cup of all purpose flour.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper. 
     Add 2 pinches of dill weed.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Fried Big Papa Dill Pickle Chips:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Bias slice 1 Big Papa Dill pickle into large chips that are 3/16" to 1/4" thick.  (Snack on the end pieces!)
     Dip the pickle chips in a small bowl of buttermilk.  (About 3/4 cup.)
     Place a few of the buttermilk coated pickle chips in breading mixture at a time and gently shake the bowl, so the pickle chips are evenly coated.
     Set the breaded pickle chips aside.
     Step 2:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Place a few pickle chips in the hot oil at a time, till all the chips are in the fryer.
     Fry the pickle chips, till the coating is crispy golden brown.
     Use a fryer net to place the fried pickle chips on wire roasting rack on a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Fried Big Papa Dill Pickle Chips with Habanero Utah Sauce:
     Place a bed of Italian Parsley sprigs on a plate.
     Overlap the fried Big Papa Dill pickle chips across the bed of parsley.
     Place the ramekin of Habanero Utah Sauce on the plate.

     Viola!  Hot fresh golden fried Big Papa Dill Pickle Chips with Spicy Fry Sauce! 

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