I've been watching a lot of old episodes of Take Home Chef lately. It's totally addicting, know what I mean? I've gotten a lot of ideas and learned a few new tricks from watching. One technique that I learned from Curtis (after 30+ episodes, I'd say we're on a first name-basis) is adding ice water to flour to make a tempura batter. We decided to try it out last night with green beans. Sanne made an avocado-sour cream concoction for dipping and it was deeeelicious!
Basically, what you want is an even ratio of water to flour. Coat the green beans, and then toss them into hot vegetable oil. The cold batter reacting to the hot oil is what gives you the crispy tempura crunch.
We probably should have added more flour, but our beans still tasted very fresh and light. The breading wasn't thick and overwhelming, like you get at most restaurants. You won't feel guilty eating these.
...but that was just the appetizer. For the main course, we braised some sweet italian sausages in red wine. At the end, we added some balsamic vinegar and then tossed them into a basic tomato sauce.
|the wine made them turn purple|
Maybe process wasn't that pretty, but I think the end result was quite nice.
Throw in some wine, a neighbor-friend and some Aretha Franklin and you've got yourself a nice little dinner party. Afterward, we went out dancing. All in all, it was a rockin' Saturday night.