I saw a post on fried pickles at the excellent Homesick Texan and I knew I had to make it. Pickles? Crumbed and fried? Yes please. A buttermilk dressing was made to accompany it, though I added my own tweaks. Combined, the crunch of the coating giving way to crunchy, tangy dill pickle slices was brilliant. The garlicky buttermilk dressing, with a heavy hand in coriander, made an ideal dipping sauce.
Surprise of the day though was a happy snap decision. Some squat mild chillis were in the fridge, while some halloumi was slowly growing mouldy. Since I had a wok full of shimmering hot oil, I figured I might as well give it a go, and they were a hit. Mild, slightly spicy pepper bursting with melted halloumi was a pretty perfect snack to go with a couple of beers.
Coriander Buttermilk Dressing
Makes a small bowl
4 tbsp buttermilk
7 tbsp mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic
Juice of half a lime
A large pinch of cayenne pepper
1 green chilli, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of coriander, minced
In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, buttermilk and mayonnaise. Add the garlic, minced finely and the cayenne pepper and chilli. Add the coriander and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Deep Fried Pickles & Cheese-Stuffed Chillis
Makes enough for 4 as a light snack
4 large pickled dill cucumbers
10 mild squat red chillis
Half a block of halloumi
6 Matzo crackers
4 tbsp buttermilk
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Slice the cucumbers to the thickness of about an inch and leave to dry on kitchen paper. Make a slit in the chillis just down one side and carefully scrape out the seeds. Stuff with sticks of halloumi.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Process the matzo crackers into crumbs and place in a sandwich bag. Whisk together the egg and the buttermilk and cover a plate with the flour. Dip the pickles and chillis firstly in the flour, then the egg and then in the sandwich bag for a good shake to cover. Heat the oil until it's shimmering and a breadcrumb sizzles in it and fry the pickles and chilli in batches until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen towel and place in the oven to keep warm.