Or, in British, fried cornichons! These are a recipe from Joy the Baker, and you can get to them through the link.
I set up my three bowls: one with egg, beaten with Louisiana hot sauce and chipotle mustard; one with flour, salt, chili flakes and pepper; the last one with breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
They looked cute in those little bowls, but I soon found out that the breadcrumbs had to go in a bigger one or there was going to be a great deal more mess than was necessary.
I was using fresh breadcrumbs, and I found that the first couple of cornichons were really difficult to coat, and I was ending up with breaded fingers more than anything ese. Not the plan, and I certainly wasn’t going to fry those. The problem was that the breadcrumbs, despite having come from toasted bread, were too moist to break into really small crumbs in the food processor, and they were clumping when met with the egg and floured pickles. A solution presented itself to me – I put the breadcrumbs back in the food processor with a spoonful of flour and whizzed – immediately, the flour coated the breadcrumbs, meaning that the blade could cut them a bit finer and also that they were miles easier to work with. They no longer clung desperately to my hands, and consented to act as a coating without falling off in great chunks. Once I had the breadcrumbs sorted, the process was much easier and less messy, though there was still a certain amount of hand washing and surface wiping to be done afterwards, as you might expect.
I very rarely deep fry any food, partly because I have the Fear about setting the house on fire, and partly because I hate to use so much oil at once; while I know it’s necessary to get the crispy finish that some foods need, it always seems like a waste to use half a pot full of oil at one time. For these, I heated a layer of oil in a frying pan, maybe about a quarter of an inch deep. Still a lot of oil but not nearly as much as I’d need to deep fry – though I know you can get those special machines now that only use a tablespoon of oil, which sounds much better and much less of a fire risk. I suppose ‘less of a fire risk’ should really come under the general heading of ‘better’ but I thought I’d point it out.
Using less oil meant that I had to turn the cornichons over after a couple of minutes of frying, to crisp all sides evenly, but this wasn’t a big deal. Once they were browned all over, I scooped them out of the oil and sat on some kitchen paper to drain for another minute before putting them on the side of my plate and scoffing them. A great accompaniment for a burger, instead of chips, or a great snack in their own right. Good with beers on a hot day, I’m willing to bet.
There is a burger under all that cheese… In fact it was a steak and mushroom burger, but let’s just say I’m still working on that particular recipe.