Met up with some friends recently, and we had a fun-filled, pleasant and chatty meal at TGI Fridays. Unlike my previous experience, the food arrived hot, the service was fast, and we had a nice wait person. And there was one particular appetizer that stole the limelight, and had us talking about it days later. It's their green beans fries!
The green bean fries came out in TGI Fridays signature red basket on their red-and-white striped paper and came with a mouth-awakening ranch dip that was spiked with wasabi according to our eager waiter. Since a couple of us ordered this item, we had enough to share around the table. Those crunchy battered green beans were hot and the spiked dip sealed the tasty green bean fries with a beautiful horseradish taste! My not-so-keen-for-green-beans partner thoroughly enjoyed them too, and it was fun to watch that arm to mouth movement working like a fully wind-up toy. Even the kids got into the action although they smartly skipped the dip-with-a-kick!
Yesterday, my girlfriend gave me a copy of this copy-cat recipe she had found, and of course I had to make this as part of dinner. I used french beans, and changed the breading from regular bread crumbs to panko (tempura breading) and it came out less greasy and more crunchy than the original1/2 cup ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Peppercorn Ranch)
1 tbs milk
1/3 cup diced up, peeled, mini cucumber
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
freshly ground pepper
Make the dip by putting everything in a food processor. Mix well and chill til ready to serve.
Green Bean Fries
8 oz tender green beans, rinsed and cut in half
4 cups vegetable broth
cold water ice bath
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch of salt
panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying
Add beans to broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 mins, then place in cold water ice bath to stop the cooking process. Mix beaten egg with milk, garlic powder and onion powder. Shake the beans of excess water, and coat the beans with egg mixture. Then dip beans one at a time into panko and place on a plate. Do this til all the beans are coated.
Heat enough oil to cover beans and bring oil to 350F in a heavy skillet. Fry beans til golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with dip.
NOTE: This is addictive! But green bean fries are healthier than potatoe french fries, no?
And since french beans are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and folate, and because I bought a 2 lb. bag, the rest of the green beans were stir-fried and served over noodles.1 lb ground turkey
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs Chinese rice wine
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1/2 tbs Chinese hot bean paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp Chile powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbs cold water.
In a hot non-stick wok, add oil, swirling to coat. Add turkey and stir-fry, breaking up lumps, til there's no pink, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in wine and 1/2 tbs soy sauce and stir-fry another min.
Add hot bean paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 min. Add ginger, garlic, Chile powder, and stir-fry until fragrant. Add broth, remaining 1/2 tbs soy sauce, and green beans, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring gently, about 3-5 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Cook til sauce is thickened, about 3 min.
Serve immediately over hot noodles.