Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Twice-Fried Green Beans and Cashews

Just for the record, vegetarian food isn't always healthier. Granted this meal would have been even unhealthier if I had used meat, but even without the meat, it had a bit of fat in it. I guess that's what happens when you deep fry green beans.

I know, deep-fried green beans? I was a little hesitant, but I was wanting a green bean stir fry for supper and this recipe looked the best of what I found in my little search. Turns out, it is really, really good. The green beans were incredible (but according to Curtis, most foods are incredible when fried--I would disagree with him there). The seasonings were minimal, but did the trick. My only problem was frying the cashews--I briefly forgot about them and they ended up a little too fried. We ate most of them anyway.

This will serve 4 - 6 people.

Twice Fried Green Beans with Cashews
adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

neutral oil like grapeseed, corn or canola for frying
1 1/2 lbs green beans (or however much you have--I didn't measure mine, I just used what I had), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch lengths
1/2 c cashews
1 lb tofu, drained and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c mild onion or scallions, chopped
1 t fresh chile (Jalapeno or Thai), optional (we didn't use it, but I suspect many would like this)
1 T sugar
2 T soy sauce
cooked rice or thin noodles (Udon, rice noodles, etc--I like the rice though since the green beans are kinda long)

Heat a enough of a neutral oil (I used canola) to be about 1 - 2 inches deep in a heavy black skillet or deep fryer (I probably used only about 1 - 1 1/2 inches of oil). Bring to 350 degrees (you can measure this with a candy thermometer--a meat thermometer won't get hot enough). Add the beans all at once and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, 5 - 10 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt. Add the cashews to the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent the cashews from burning. Drain and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

Let the oil cool a few minutes then pour off oil to containers to either reuse or dispose of in the trashcan (my husband's a plumber, he'd like for you to put in down the drain so you can give your friendly plumber some work). Keep 2 T of oil in the pan (or a separate pan, which I used because I didn't have enough patience to let the oil cool). Turn the heat up to high, and stir fry the tofu until it is golden brown. Add the garlic and onion and stir fry for a few minutes, until the onion softens (you can also use scallions, in which case only stir fry for about 30 seconds). Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and soy sauce, stir, and remove from heat.

Serve over rice or noodles. Top with fried cashews.

No comments: