Fried Green Beans, Halloumi & Lemon-Tiganita Fasolakia

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First of all, it's fried, and crispy and crunchy. Second of all, it's fried and cheesy. Third of all, it's fried, lemony and tangy. Try and top that!

What you'll need to make this delicious Greek staple is,

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Green beans, Halloumi cheese, lemon, flour, cornstarch, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper, soda water, olive oil, and oil for frying. 

According to the notes in the cookbook, the flat Romano beans are ideal for this but the Blue Lake beans will be fine. The batter is also good for young fava beans, the entire pod, and squash blossoms. 

In a large bowl combine the flour, cornstarch salt, and pepper. 

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To the flour mixture, add the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Add the soda water and olive oil and whisk until most of the lumps are gone. 

After a quick toss with flour, the beans, cheese, and lemon are dipped into the batter then, 

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into the 360* spa. It's important to fry a mix of them together, don't fry just the beans or cheese or lemon separately. You'll need the lemon essence imparted into the oil. There was a big improvement in the flavor of the beans that were fried with the lemon slices. Also, I noticed the lemons were a bit sweeter after frying, still tangy but a bit sweeter. 

Another reason you should fry a mix of them together is because lemons are so juicy you don't want the water-hot oil reaction, so don't fry them alone, always just one or two with the beans and cheese.

Just for fun Google water-hot oil reaction. I had that happen to me once, and that was one time too many. 

 

Fried Green Beans, Halloumi & Lemon

Ingredients

  • For the batter

    1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup cornstarch 
    1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
    1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
    Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 cups chilled soda water
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    For the beans, cheese and lemon
    4 quarts canola oil
    1 pound tender green beans, trimmed and moistened
    8 lemon slices, about 1/8 inch thick
    1/4 pound halloumi cheese, in 4 slices, each broken in half lengthwise
    1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    Minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish Lemon halves for serving

Directions

  1. For the batter: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and a pinch of pepper. Mix well with a whisk. Add the soda water and olive oil and whisk just until most of the lumps are gone. Don’t overmix, or you will deflate the batter. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. Mix gently before using.

    In a large, heavy pot, heat the canola oil until it registers 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Put the beans, lemon slices, and cheese in a colander set over a bowl. Toss with the 1/2 cup flour, then shake off the excess. Working in small batches, dip a few of the beans, lemon slices, and cheese in the batter. Lift them out, letting the excess batter drip back. Fry until the lemon and the cheese start to brown (the beans will not brown much), about 2 minutes, agitating them frequently in the oil with tongs or a wire-mesh skimmer. Lift them out with tongs or a skimmer onto a tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remainder.

    Transfer the fried beans, lemons, and cheese to a platter and garnish with a light sprinkle of parsley. Serve hot with the lemon halves.

    Kokkari: Comtemporary Greek Flavors Cookbook

And that's that!