Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
I am now going to tell you about a recipe that requires three bowls and two pans and I suspect you’re going to say: “That’s not a weeknight recipe Jenny, what gives? I’ve got bills to pay/bathrooms to scrub/cocktails to mix. Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
I hear you, but the bowls used for this really fun dish, Deep Fried Green Beans, are practically mise-y, so try not to get too mad at me. What you’ve got here is sort of a deconstructed version of the Thanksgiving green bean dish, which could easily be dressed up should you wish to make it even more authentic.
Three things I like about this side dish: it feeds a ton of people, reheats nicely and can be jazzed up with eggs and hot sauce for breakfast (that's my opinion; you might have another idea) and allows you to use frozen beans easily, always a plus in the middle of January.
While your beans are cooking (and really only do this for a few minutes even if they were frozen) go ahead and get your bowls ready. In the first I put the flour, seasoned with all the spices Kitchen Butterfly calls for here, and in the second the two eggs, which you’re going to need beyond the one she suggests. The final bowl contains your bread crumbs (I did indeed use panko) and while I was confused why the recipe called once again for spices, I just added some more black pepper.
Once you get frying, you need to move quickly because you definitely don’t want these bad boys burnings and making your oil all funky. As things started getting a little clumpy and fast moving, I felt a little like I was on an episode of “Top Chef: Cougars in the Kitchen,” and could picture Tom and Padma eyeing me with contempt. “Jennifer, were you happy with how you got flour clumps in the egg?”
Plop the finished beans on a paper towel-lined plate or large bowl. These beans would indeed be great with ranch, although I served them as is, with steak and French fries. You could sauté some mushrooms and add those if you wanted to really go all Thanksgiving. But ain’t no body got time for that, neither.
Makes as much as you want
1 pound green beans (or haricot verts), topped & tailed
stale white bread, blitzed to make 1 cup crumbs (alternative - Japanese panko)
1-2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
salt, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk
vegetable/canola oil, to fry
smoky paprika, to taste
onion powder, to taste
To serve: Ranch/buttermilk dressing
For more weeknight side dishes, try:
Photo by James Ransom