• Heat oil in a deep pot over medium heat until it registers 370 to 375 degrees on a deep-fat fry thermometer.

  • Mix cornmeal, 1/3 cup of the flour, the pepper, cayenne and salt in a large resealable plastic bag.

  • Whisk milk and egg together in a medium bowl.

  • Cut pickles into spears (about 8 per pickle). Blot dry on paper towels and toss in a bowl with remaining 1/2 cup flour.

  • Dip 8 to 10 spears in egg mixture, then add to bag with cornmeal mixture. Shake to coat pickles. Spread spears onto a rack and continue with all spears (in batches of 8 to 10).

  • Fry one batch of pickles for 3 minutes until golden. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat with all batches, returning oil to 375° before adding each batch. Serve with ranch dressing.

Nutrition Facts

142 calories; 9 g total fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 595 mg sodium. 12 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein;