Fresh string beans have literally started pouring into my door. I planted only eight bush beans in my vegetable plot, but they’re exuberant in their production. As such, I’m now scrambling to find interesting ways to prepare them (besides steamed or sautéed). I went the not-so-healthy-route to kick off the bean season.
No, that is not a basket of French fries in the picture above. It’s a basket of beer-battered (yes, BEER battered) string beans. No doubt, it’s criminal to turn such a nutritious vegetable into a fried snack food, but I loved ‘em! Seriously, these were ridiculously addictive, especially with an extra sprinkle of course sea salt on them. If I’d thought of it before inhaling nearly the whole basket, I would have even tried them with my favorite French fry condiment: vinegar! I bet that’d send them over the top.
As it was, I just heated up a little bit of marinara sauce to dip them in, although the original recipe (taken from a faded undated newspaper clipping) offered directions for making a special dip for on the side. Me, I like to eat my beer-battered string beans while they’re piping hot so I couldn’t be bothered with spending time on the dipping sauce.
Now that I’ve got the junk food bug out of my system (seriously, is there any healthful salvation in this dish since it did get me to eat two big handfuls of beans?), who’s got a good idea for using up a surplus of beans? I don’t have enough yet to consider canning, so something fresh and interesting would be appreciated. I know I’m the one that’s suppose to give YOU ideas on this site, but I’m lacking inspiration and hoping you’re holding some. Yes?
Beer-Battered String Beans
Taken from clipping out of the Philadelphia Inquirer
1 lb. fresh string beans
1 C. beer (lager works well)
1 t. salt
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying (about 2 cups)
Tomato sauce for dipping (optional)
Trim and discard tips of beans. In a bowl, whisk the beer, salt and lemon juice into the flour until smooth but still foamy. Dredge the beans in the batter.
In a large deep skillet, heat oil until it sizzles when a bit of batter is dropped into it. Fish out the beans from the batter, shaking off excess, and fry about 10 at a time. Cook until golden brown, flipping the beans over with tongs. Repeat to cook all of the beans.
Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with additional salt if desired. If using, heat the tomato sauce and serve on the side with the beans.