Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Green Bean Fries with Ranch Dip

Eating your veggies is hard, even when you're an adult.  Sometimes you bring home a pound of something raw, fresh, and green with the purest of intentions.  You'll steam these with some chicken stock, or maybe just blanch them and make a nice salad.  But then you get ready to make dinner and a little voice in your head says, "hey, let's make something fun and tasty and fried."  

Now, as a rule, I try not to listen to disembodied voices.  So, as I munched on crispy, salty green bean fries I thought to myself about what a stupid rule that is and how I should break it more often.

I know most people don't usually keep buttermilk in their fridge, so I've given you two buttermilk recipes for the price of one.  That way you've got more than one thing to use it up on.  Give homemade ranch dressing a try; it packs a freshness that the bottled stuff just can't compare to.

Homemade Ranch Dressing
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried parsley)
1 tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried dill)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, put in an airtight container, and store in the fridge for about an hour to let the flavors come together.  Stores for about a week in the fridge.

Green Bean Fries
1/2 lb. fresh green beans
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
canola oil

Rinse and trim the green beans to your desired length.  Put buttermilk in one shallow bowl, and mix all the dry ingredients together in another.  Heat about 1" of oil in a heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat. 

Soak the green beans in the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour mixture until coated.  When the oil is hot enough that a bit of flour sizzles when it's dropped in, add the green beans to the skillet in a single layer and fry until they turn a light golden brown.   

Remove from the skillet with a strainer or tongs and set on a paper towel-lined plate to dry and cool a bit.  Sprinkle with a bit more salt, if desired.  Serve with Ranch for dipping.

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