« Google Magic — As in, 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from...' | Home | World's first climate-controlled pet carrier »

July 29, 2007



You're looking at a batch of them.

What are they?

Silly Billy — fried pickles, of course.

Here's the back story, from Emily Heil's July 29, 2007 Washington Post article.

    Feeling Picklish? Toss 'Em in the Fryer.

    In the Southern school of culinary thought, if something's tasty as is, it's even better fried. That principle was what led chef Eric Reid to dish up "frickles," the crispy fried pickle chips that are the top seller at Del Merei Grille, his restaurant in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood (3106 Mount Vernon Ave., 703-739-4335).

    The sounds-odd-but-tastes-great dish ($4) is a study in contrasts: Piping-hot pickle slices in a brown-batter coating get a cool partner in the spicy mayo-based remoulade they're paired with. The salty dill flavor is a counterpoint to the tangy pepper-laced sauce.

    Reid, who opened Del Merei in 2005 with then-pal Mary Abraham (she's now his sister-in-law), was looking for a crunchy appetizer to round out the menu of comfort-food staples. At nearby Evening Star Cafe, where Reid had been a chef, fried calamari was a customer favorite, and Reid hit on pickles as a perfect — and unusual — candidate for a swim in the fryer.

    Reid's food philosophy is simple: "I just like serving food people like, and I'm a huge fan of fried foods," he says. "You can pretty much throw anything in the deep-fryer and it tastes good."

    He happily shared his recipe, scaling it back from the giant batches he makes at the restaurant and adjusting it for the home cook. Don't be intimidated by the frying, he insists: It's perfectly doable and doesn't require special equipment. The keys are plenty of oil, high temperatures and a brief post-fry rest on a bed of paper towels to soak up clinging grease.

    My first try yielded sodden, oily slices, not crisp ones like those that had entranced me at Del Merei. Then I used a thermometer that clips to the side of the pot to make sure the oil was hot enough, and soon I was dishing up frickles that were a dead ringer for Del Merei's.

    Reid serves them with a garnish of mixed greens, but that's a little too restauranty for me. I like them served right away on a simple platter with a ramekin of the piquant sauce. Either way, frickles make for an impressive nosh with cocktails at a dinner party and can be a surprising topping for burgers.

    And after your guests clean their plates, you'll be proud to call yourself a fry guy — or gal.


Now you're all excited, aren't you?

Okay, then, without further ado, the recipe that accompanied the Post story.



    In the Southern school of culinary thought, if something’s tasty as-is, it’s even better fried. That principle was what led chef Eric Reid to dish up “frickles,” the crispy fried pickle chips that are the top seller at Del Merei Grille, his restaurant in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.

    4 appetizer servings


    • 7 cups peanut oil, for frying
    • 3 to 4 dill pickles, cut into 1/8-inch slices (about 1 cup)
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    Have ready a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

    In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.

    Lightly coat the pickles in flour, shaking off any excess. Use a slotted spoon or Chinese strainer to place the pickles in the oil. Deep-fry, in batches if necessary, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the frickles to the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

    Recipe Source:

    Adapted from chef Eric Reid at the Del Merei Grille in Alexandria.

    44 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 287mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 0g protein.


Oh, I almost forgot the recipe for the spiced remoulade.

Silly me.

Here you go.

    Spiced Remoulade


    Serve this with the fried dill pickles known as frickles, or with crab cakes.

    The remoulade can be refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to 1 week.

    Makes about 2 cups


    • 1 cup low-fat mayonnnaise
    • 5 cornichons, cut into 1/8-inch dice
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
    • 1 hard-cooked egg, grated
    • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
    • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small shallot, minced
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste


    Combine the mayonnaise, cornichons, capers, egg, buttermilk, garlic, shallot, smoked paprika, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Recipe Source:

    Adapted from chef Eric Reid at the Del Merei Grille in Alexandria.

    34 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 137mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 0g protein.

July 29, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Frickles:


Not a unique recipe by any means. This was from early 2006.


Posted by: Geekoid | Aug 3, 2007 3:08:01 AM

Remind me to send you some of my favorite Japanese pickles - I don't think they will deep-fry very well....

Are running for Elvis, or something?

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 30, 2007 1:26:33 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.