It’s the third week in May! You know what that means? It’s International Pickles Week! Whether they’re slung aside a sandwich or perched atop a Chicago dog, pickles are an ever-present side dish, especially in Minnesota in the summer. Thus, I thought I’d devote some time to Minnesota’s pickling tradition.
Perhaps Minnesota’s greatest claim to pickle fame is Gedney pickles. In 1879 (before Ford sold his first automobile), Mathias Anderson Gedney moved to Minneapolis with pickles in mind. With a handful of recipes, he opened his first Gedney pickle plant in 1881 in Minneapolis at the corner of Lowry and Pacific. Gedney’s plant eventually relocated to Chaska, where it still operates today. Take a tour of the plant with America’s Heartland:
There is no shortage of pickles in Minnesota, whether you’re scanning jars at the State Fair, raiding your auntie’s root cellar, or a munchin’ on a plate of potluck pickle roll-ups at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. Perhaps you want to go the extra mile in the name of pickles this week? The Strip Club Meat and Fish serves up a pickle small plate featuring vegetables that are pickled in-house and deep fried. Or you could try your own hand at frying some pickles using this Gedney recipe:
Gedney’s Deep Fried Pickles Recipe
Preparation time: 60 min. Serves: 8
· 24 dill pickle spears, chilled
· Egg wash, recipe follows
· Breading, recipe follows
· Canola oil, for frying
· 2 cups milk
· 2 eggs
· Pinch of lemon pepper
· Pinch of dill weed
· Pickle juice
· 2 1/2 cups cornmeal
· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/2 cup lemon pepper
· 1/2 cup dill weed
· 4 tsp paprika
· 2 tsp garlic salt
· Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
For egg wash: In a baking dish, whisk all ingredients together, except pickle juice. Add pickle juice, to taste, and whisk to combine.
For breading: Combine all ingredients in a baking dish.
Using only very cold dill pickle spears, dip pickle into egg wash and then coat with breading. Repeat until no pickles remain, and arrange dipped pickles on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper. Chill for at least 30 minutes. In a deep fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Alternatively, heat oil in a large, heavy pot suitable for deep-frying. Carefully add chilled pickle spears, in batches, to the hot oil and fry for about 3 1/2 minutes or until golden. Move to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Do you have a favorite pickle in the cities? Know a great pickle recipe? Please share!