T.G.I. Friday's Crispy Green Bean Fries
By Todd Wilbur
Menu Description: "Crunchy and crisp battered green beans with a cool creamy Cucumber-Wasabi Ranch dip."
T.G.I. Friday's new finger food offering might just make you forget about French fries. At least for a little while. Flavorful green beans are coated with tasty breadcrumbs, then fried to a golden brown, and served with a side of creamy wasabi dipping sauce. This item has quickly become the top seller on the chain's new appetizer menu as Friday's becomes the first major casual restaurant to introduce a dish that has been popular for several years at upscale chains.
Creating a home version isn't just a matter of breading and frying fresh green beans. My first attempts using a breading technique employed for perfect onion rings produced beautiful looking fried beans, but they were undercooked and had an overwhelming green bean flavor that was absent from the Friday's version. So, I had to figure out a good way to get the green bean-ness out of there. After a few tests that included steaming, baking, and boiling, I finally settled on blanching the beans in a flavorful broth. The secret technique, which you'll find here, tenderizes the beans while injecting pleasant flavor that closely resembles the Friday's favorite.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.
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Cucumber-Wasabi Ranch Dip
- 1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch bottled salad dressing
- 1/4 cup minced cucumber (peeled and seeded)
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon powdered wasabi powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 to 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs (like Progresso brand)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 to 10 cups vegetable shortening or oil
- Do This
1. Make the dip by combining all of the ingredients in a blender on high speed until smooth. Cover and chill. The dip will thicken as it chills.
2. Prepare the beans by bringing 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Poach the beans in the broth for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly tender, and then plunge them into ice water to keep them from getting too soft.
3. Combine the beaten egg with the milk in a shallow bowl. Measure 1 cup of flour into another shallow bowl. Combine the bread crumbs, 3/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder in a third shallow bowl.
4. Take a small handful of beans out of the water and shake off any excess liquid. Coat the beans with the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Dip the beans, one at a time into the egg and milk mixture and then coat each one with the bread crumb mixture. Lay the coated beans on a plate until all of them have been breaded.
5. Heat the shortening or oil to 350 degrees F in a deep fryer or large saucepan.
6. Fry the beans in bunches for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a rack or paper towels, then serve them up with the wasabi-cucumber ranch dip.
Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.