I run out of culinary steam at one crucial step in the cooking process: clean up. Please believe me, I don't leave filthy pots and pans and crusted dinner plates lying around for days (well, there was that one time, but I was sick...). I just hate scouring burned on grease from pots, painstakingly scraping splatters from my ceramic stove, and wiping down my flat painted walls with all the delicacy of an Impressionist master. I hate having to wet-mop the area around the stove because yuck flew from my pots and pans and adhered itself to my tile floor (I didn't know it at the time, but my tile selection was actually named "Hey! I Show Every Speck of Dirt and Drip of Water!"). If it looks likely that I will have to do any of those things after I finish a recipe, chances are that I will mutter a vile expletive at said recipe and either boldly slam the cookbook closed or forcefully click my mouse on the little tab's X.
That is one downside of the internet, by the way. There is no door slam equivalent when you want to make your point. Everything is just so darned clicky. I guess that's the price you pay for LOL Cats at your beck and call twenty-four hours a day.
Anyway, all of this meant that I have very little practice with fat-frying. Which is a pity, because if I knew what the heck I was doing, these could have been amazing:
Green bean fritters is the name. These were cribbed from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Originally these were supposed to be okra fritters, but I am the only one in my house who will touch said vegetable with a ten foot pole, much less insert it into my mouth and chew. Red and The Girl want nothing to do with hairy vegetables that secret their own quasi-slime when cut, so I decided to go with Yankee friendly green beans instead. These were trimmed, dipped in a light, spicy besan (chickpea flour) batter, and shallow fried for seven minutes.
Okay, here's where I think I went wrong:
- The recipe told me to keep the oil at medium. I did so, when I think I should have started it high and then lowered it after the first minute or so.
- I crowded the pan too much. I guess it's pretty obvious that half a pound of green beans would take up more room than half a pound of trimmed okra, but this is just one of those times when I can take comfort in the fact that I'm cute.
- I think I should have hauled out my cast-iron Dutch Oven of Doom and gone full on, rock out with your socks out deep-fry crazy.
Even with all that room for improvement, these were perfectly edible. They just weren't perfect. The batter on some was a little soggy, and things were greasier than they should have been. But The Girl and I still managed to polish off this plate. The sacrifices you make for MoFo.
So forget my green bean fries. Go make the apple fries that Richa made at Hobby and More for last week's Iron Chef challenge. Amazing. That girl knows how to fry. And unlike me, she's not spooked by a little oil on the countertop.
Seriously, Kate. Time to vegan up.