Don't be intimidated by the thought of frying the pickles, either; Annie promises that the breading process is quick and frying is pretty painless. The kudos you get from satisfied guests will be worth the work!
Fried PicklesMakes around 30, depending on number of pickles in jar
1 pint sliced dill pickles
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. paprika
Pinch of salt
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Ranch dressing, for serving
1. Drain the pickles, reserving 2/3 cup of the pickle juice. Lay the pickle slices out on paper towels to blot off excess moisture. Combine the reserved pickle juice, egg, 1 Tbsp. of flour and hot sauce in a bowl. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
2. In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine the remaining flour, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Whisk to blend.
3. In batches, dip the pickle slices in the egg mixture, gently shaking off the excess. Then dredge in the flour-spice blend. In a medium saucepan, add oil to about 1-in. depth. Heat the oil to 375º F. Fry the pickles in batches until golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes total. Transfer briefly to paper-towel lined rack. Serve warm with ranch dressing for dipping.