August 30, 2013

FRIED PICKLES


Pickles:
peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups pickle chips

Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained horseradish
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

To make the pickles: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large deep pan until oil sizzles when a water drop is placed on top. Combine flour, salt, pepper, sugar and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

Drain the pickle chips to remove excess water. The pickles do not need to be completely dry as some moisture is needed for the battering process.Toss a portion of the pickle chips in the seasoned flour mixture until the pickle chips are well-coated with the flour.Transfer the pickle chips to a wire strainer. Shake to remove excess flour from the pickle chips.

Carefully place the pickle chips in the hot oil. Cook for three to four minutes, or until the pickles float to the surface. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

To make the sauce:  Mix the mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup and Cajun seasoning in a bowl; set aside.

Yellow Split Pea Ham Soup



1 pound dried yellow split peas, rinsed and sorted
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock, plus more to thin
2 cups cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch dice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, bring the split peas, vegetables, thyme, bay leaf, and stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, the split peas have broken down, and the soup is thickened-- about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
 Add the diced ham and cook just until warmed through. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*The soup thickens if stored in the refrigerator, so you will need to thin it with additional stock when reheating.