Sunday, October 6, 2013

Battered green beans

We're healthy-snacking today, folks!

I'm a big fan of vege snacks, and I'm not talking about those orange, green and yellow corn puffs that are colour-coded to remind us of real veges but are actually loaded with MSG. I'm talking about fresh veges turned into bite-sized morsels packed with flavour. I think a good way to get into healthy snacking is to keep a bank of easy recipes that you can whip up in a jiffy. These Battered Green Beans recipe is one of them - all it takes are five main ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time. Deep-frying can take some skill but, trust me, these beans are worth it.

First, grab a bunch of fresh green beans and strike a mean pose for the camera.

Next, trim the ends of the beans and blanch them in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Do NOT over-blanch them or you'll have icky-textured beans.

Immediately drop the beans in icy water to stop the cooking process.

Drain thoroughly and pat dry. Patting them dry is optional, but it saves you time waiting for the beans to drain completely.

Dredge in flour.

Dip in egg-and-Parmesan batter seasoned with salt and pepper. I used Romano cheese because I couldn't find any halal Parmesan.

Fry in batches on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until evenly golden-brown and legitimately mouth-watering.

Drain on paper towels and season with salt to taste. Serve hot - the crisp factor goes down the cooler the beans get.


P/S: I eyeballed all my measurements so if you'd like the full recipe, head on over to Laura in the Kitchen!

Notes on deep-frying:
1. It's important to fry the beans in batches so that the oil's temperature doesn't drop too much and too suddenly.  If this happens, the beans will take longer to brown and absorb more oil, giving you soggy battered beans. Ick.
2. Don't be afraid to keep the heat sufficiently high - we're working with only a thin layer of batter and the beans are already cooked through. When the beans are golden-brown, they're done.
3. The oil will splatter quite a bit due to the water content in the beans so use protective gear if you need to. On the bright side, frying takes less than five minutes so I didn't find the splattering too much to handle.

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