October 3, 2011

Glorious Beans!

Use your bean!

Beans beans beans. They're in big time at all the markets, snappy and fresh. Best way to cook them is the simplest: in boiling water until tender (beyond tender-crisp). Then drain quickly and toss with a nice, peppery olive oil and coarse salt. You'll want to eat them with your fingers, and you should. Or, you can get a little fussier and try this classic Chinese dish (green beans originated in China). It makes a lively side dish to grilled chicken. Or, toss in cooked chicken at the end and serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Chinese Fried Green Beans
Serves 4

Sunflower or any neutral corn oil for frying
2 pound green beans, well trimmed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
Large pinch hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Put about 2 inches of oil in a deep skillet set over medium-high heat and bring to 350 degrees F. Wash and thoroughly dry the beans (they should be very very dry before you begin). Fry the beans, stirring occasionally, until they brown, about 7 to 12 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Darin off all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet, return to the heat and stir fry the garlic and shallot until the garlic begins to soften (being careful it doesn't burn), about 30 seconds. Toss in the beans, with the paper flakes, honey and soy sauce to taste. Serve topped with the toasted walnuts.

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