the last few times i've been to the distillery, i've had their crispy green beans - green beans perfectly fried with a buffalo ranch dipping sauce. since green beans are now competing with cucumbers for the top spot in my garden and i finally have the courage to try frying something again (let's just say i had a batch of homemade donuts that did not end well), i turned about a pound of them into the perfect salty spicy snack.
first time frying? it really isn't as intimidating as it looks. the problem with my miserable donuts is that i was cooking them on an electric cooktop, and a crummy one at that. that means as soon as the cool donut hit the oil and the temperature dropped, the cooktop couldn't respond quickly enough (like gas can) to turn the heat up a bit. with a gas stove, as soon as the oil temp drops or is too high, the flame instantly changes the temperature. this control is really critical to frying something well. now if you're fancy and have a fryer, you're all set.
spicy dipping sauce
adapted from every "outback steakhouse bloomin onion dip" knockoff recipe i found online
5 minutes, makes about 1/2 cup, plenty for 3/4 pound of beans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
hot pepper sauce
- mix everything but the hot sauce together. season with salt and pepper.
- add the hot sauce a few dashes at a time, stirring and tasting after each addition until it's the level of spiciness that you want.
- refrigerate leftovers.
beer battered green beans
adapted from the neelys
makes 1/2 to 3/4 pound (serves 4 as an appetizer), 30 minutes
1/2 to 3/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, washed, and dried
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup beer
1 teaspoon salt
a healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper
a few cups of vegetable, corn, or peanut oil, for frying
- start with the oil as the beans can be prepped while it's heating up. pour about 2 inches of oil into the bottom of a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot. place over medium to medium high heat and heat until the temperature reaches 375F.
- prep your beans and the batter while the oil is heating. in a large bowl or square container with high sides (i used my 8x8 pyrex baker), whisk the flour, beer, salt, and pepper together. toss with the beans.
- prep your fried bean station. place a cooling rack on top of a sheet tray or piece of parchment paper on the counter. this will make clean up a whole lot easier and you don't have to mess around with paper towels.
- when the oil has reached 375F, drop about six or eight beans in one at a time, placing them carefully so they don't touch and cook stuck together. after 15 to 20 seconds, use a metal mesh spider to push the beans around a bit, making sure they aren't stuck to the bottom of the pan. cook until golden brown. remove from the oil and place on the cooling rack. sprinkle lightly with salt. check to make sure your oil has come back up to temperature before placing the next batch in. if your oil isn't hot enough, the beans will soak up the oil and be really greasy.
- let cool for a few minutes before dipping.