“Great balls of fire” could apply to the fried pickles at Jerry Lee Lewis’s Cafe and Honky Tonk. They’re actually more round slices than balls, but they’re great and they’re hot.
The deep-fried pickled cucumbers and peppers, which are a blend of sweet and dill, are on the menu as “Frickles: Miss Josie’s Spicy Dill Pickles” and sell for $7.25. “Frickles” is a combination of the words “fried” and “pickles.”
They serve the pickles with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, but I prefer them plain. I love the salty-sweet taste. It’s hard not to eat them all in one sitting.
Jerry Williams, who makes the pickles with his daughter, Josie Williams, calls them a “sweet dill spicy pickle.” They make the pickles from a recipe that came from his grandmother, the late Josephine Williams, and used by his mother, Tootles Williams. With the cucumbers, Jerry and his daughter pickle peppers, some of which Jerry gets from Avery Island in Louisiana. “These are not manufactured,” Jerry said. “Every jar is handmade and topped off with a squirt of local honey.”
When they were discussing the menu for the restaurant, Williams mentioned his pickles, said Andrew Armstrong, the restaurant’s executive chef. They decided to sell jars of Josie’s Pickles at the restaurant. They also decided to deep fry the pickle and see what happens.
Armstrong came up with the coating. He strained all the juice from the cucumbers and peppers and added egg whites. He then made the dredge from panko flour, corn flour, cornstarch, dried dill, garlic powder and his own Creole seasoning. He tossed the pickles in the dredge and “shook off” the excess before they went in the fryer. So, a whole lotta shakin’ is goin’ on when Frickles are being made at Jerry Lee Lewis’s Cafe and Honky Tonk.
Jerry Lee Lewis’s Cafe and Honky Tonk is at 310 Beale; 901-596-9378.