Saturday, October 22, 2011

So bad, it's good! (and vice versa)

OK, we all know that I tend to go a little crazy with some of the meals I make. There's a reason my size 34 jeans aren't quite as roomy as they once were. But, what can I do? I love making food and someone's gotta be there to taste test it!

But once in a while I think I go too far. An example of this comes from one recent evening, as I was watching the Food Network yet again. This time I was tuned to a show called Eat Street, which is all about the burgeoning food truck industry across North America (although in Ottawa, said industry has quite a ways to go).  On one episode they featured a place called Pig Vicious out of Austin Texas. Naturally, their shtick is bacon. And being obnoxious crust punks (that's a compliment in my circles). Anyhoo, one of their tasty treats was Bacon-Wrapped Pickles. I know what you're thinking, CRAZY! Well, stand back, because they deep fry that muther!

I'd seen all I needed, I jumped up and declared that this was going to be part of the "nibblies" meal Kari and I were trying to figure out for that night. And I did it! God help me, I did it! And you can do it too! Just consider yourselves warned: unless you have a bucket of water nearby, DO NOT eat more than three of these! One of these is probably half your daily sodium intake.

So, here's how you make them:

Deep Fried Bacon-Wrapped Pickles (for 8 pieces)


- 2 high-quality dill pickles, quartered into spears
- 8 strips bacon
- 8 toothpicks
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying


- Take piece of bacon and wrap tightly around pickle spear.
- Affix bacon into place with toothpick (otherwise the bacon will unravel while cooking, as you can see in the picture below).
- Place oil in a small saucepan, allowing for enough depth to deep fry pickles. Heat oil on medium-high (to test if the oil is ready, flick a drop or two of water into the oil from a couple of feet back. If it sizzles, the oil is ready for frying).
- Drop pickles in one at a time into oil using slotted spoon or tongs. Fry 4 pieces at a time (so two batches total) for about 3-4 minutes or until bacon has reached desired crispiness.
- Remove from oil using slotted spoon or tongs. Place finished pickles on paper towel to drain oil.
- Serve with Homemade Ranch Dressing (recipe to follow).

Deep Fried Bacon-Wrapped Pickles! BOW DOWN! Also, they kinda look like severed Mummy fingers, so if you're having a Halloween party, these might fit that bill too!  

So, of course if you're going to be this decadent, you need a dipping sauce too! So, as Deep-Fried Pickles in a pub normally come with Ranch Dressing, we figured we'd make our own. I left the task to Kari who went to the Internet to find our how it's made. She found this:

Now, we were missing buttermilk and sour cream,  but these were replaced fairly effectively with yogurt and cream cheese. Also, a couple of drops of liquid smoke helped give the dressing a flavour more complimentary to the bacon.

So, basically stir together all the ingredients you see in the picture to the left, add some liquid smoke and there you go!

There was some cheating involved in this "Nibblies-o-thon". We made sliders (mini-burgers) but they were store-bought President's Choice "Smokin Stampede Brisket Mini Beef Sliders". That being said, we did top them with homemade Bruschetta  (with some chopped Kalamata olives thrown in for good measure). I don't know if Bruschetta Burgers are a thing, but it worked pretty well here!

Bruschetta Sliders and a six of beer, sounds like a good night to me!

So, once everything was compiled, here was the entire spread:

It ain't health food, but sometimes you gotta go for artery clogging goodness!

And that is that! It was a tasty meal full of salty treats. Not something to do on regular basis, but we all need the occasional junk-food-esque pig-out (or at least a sampling).

Until next time!


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