Cast Iron

Green Bean Fries with Pimento Cheddar Sauce

January 11, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 5
Author Notes

Food memory is a powerful thing especially around the holidays. It is the least likely time that you will see cooks veer from the consistency of what has been done in the past. Your meal is considered a success not by the perfection of its execution but if you can invoke the memory of the first time your guests experienced it. I’ll never forget the first time I had green bean casserole. Made in a college dorm, my roommate followed Campbell’s recipe to the T but a fateful loose cap on the spice tin lead to an overly peppered casserole. Since then I cannot have the Thanksgiving staple without the over seasoning of that particular spice. Now for the last few years I have selfishly been modifying the recipe slightly each time for variation, pushing my family and myself to try and let go of past influences. The key factor that I love about green bean casserole is the crunch of the crust and the funions juxtaposed with the creaminess of the filling. Unfortunately, I have always felt the beans themselves play the supporting role and the mushrooms are as forgettable as extras. Thanks to our CSA I have grown to appreciate the snap and taste of fresh green beans and wanted to keep them the star of the piece. I made these panko-crusted green bean fries a while back and the idea came to mind for an inside-out casserole. Yes, the following end result is more time consuming, not any healthier, and not suitable for large groups. Keeping those factors in mind please note that this dish is insanely addictive and the regret will really only be felt right before swimsuit season. —Madhuri Sharma

What You'll Need
  • Fried Green Beans
  • 10 ounces fresh green beans
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • .5 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • .75 cups canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pimento Cheddar Sauce
  • 1 cup medium diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • .5 cups grated cheddar (plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)
  • 2 ounces pimentos
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fried Green Beans
  2. Wash, dry and trim the ends of the green beans
  3. In a bowl, coat the beans with the mustard and then the flour and set aside
  4. Beat the egg and water and pour into a flat plate
  5. Mix the Parmesan, panko salt and pepper in a large size zip log bag
  6. Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet on medium heat and pour enough oil to coat the pan with ¼ of an inch of oil
  7. In batches, using tongs take the flour beans, dip them in the egg wash, shake off excess, then place them in the breadcrumb bag. Shake the bag gently to coat the beans. Lift each bean out of the bag and place into the heated oil in the skillet. As each side turns golden brown, turn the beans over.
  8. After beans are uniformly crisp and golden place them in a plate covered with a couple paper towels to soak up excess oil. Continue this process, adding more oil when needed, until all the beans are fried.
  1. Pimento Cheddar Sauce
  2. Using 1 tbsp of butter caramelize the onion in a small pan and set aside
  3. Warm the half and half in a saucepan or the microwave
  4. In a separate sauce pan on medium heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and melt until the bubbles have subsided. Add the flour and whisk until a roux forms.
  5. Slowly stream in the half and half whisking as you go. Once the bechamel sauce thickens lower heat to a low flame to just keep it warm.
  6. Add the cheese, pimentos, onions salt and pepper to the sauce
  7. Place green been fries across a long plating dish and pour the casserole sauce over the top. Sprinkle extra grated cheese over the top and go ahead and finish with a little extra pepper!

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