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Hot Fried Pickles with Comeback Sauce

Chef Brian Morris took a break from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken to share his spicy take on a pickled appetizer plus a sauce tailor-made to cut the heat. What could be more perfect to serve on game day?

Brian suggests making your own spicy seasoning by using a variety of the spices listed below. You choose how much of each and make it all your own.

Hot Fried Pickles with Comeback Sauce
Serves 4 to 6


For the Comeback Sauce:
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon light agave syrup
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

For the hot fried pickles:
6 cups vegetable oil
1 large jar crunchy Kosher dill pickle chips (or whole pickles, sliced thickly)
1/2 cup corn starch
Cayenne pepper, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup ice water, strained and then measured
1/4 cup gin, vodka, or moonshine
Sea salt, for garnish
Spicy seasoning (a mixture of paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, and/or onion powder), for garnish


1. Make the Comeback Sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together water, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, horseradish, agave syrup, paprika, and garlic until smooth. Cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.

2. Make the hot fried pickles: In a countertop fryer, bring vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a colander, drain pickles and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. In a small bowl, using a fork, combine the corn starch and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adding more, if desired, to create the “dry dust.”

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, corn starch, salt, water, and gin until combined, about 30 seconds.

5. Dredge the pickles in the “dry dust,” shaking to remove excess. Dunk in batter and carefully add to fryer. Fry until lightly browned and crispy, about 3 1/2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. Garnish with salt and spicy seasoning.

6. Serve immediately with Comeback Sauce for dipping.


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