Monday, May 31, 2010

Deep Fried Bean Patties

I'll quite often start a dish inside, sauteing vegetables or browning meat, before putting it in the Sun Oven. Today I did the opposite. The beans were solar cooked first, then the patties were deep fried. The recipe is one from a collection of recipes that I cut out of Italian magazines over twenty years ago. I don't use them very often, but always get a kick out of how they are written. Unlike American recipes with their precise measurements and detailed instructions, Italian recipes are more like the instructions you'd get from Grandma if you called her and asked how to make a family favorite.

Here's the recipe as it was written:

Ingredients for 6 people:
500 gm dried beans, 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 whole clove, 3 eggs, bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons grated parmesan, oil for frying.

(No mention of what kind of beans or if the onion should be quartered, chopped or sliced; same goes for the celery. And how much bread crumbs will you need? The instructions don't help much either.)

It goes on to say:

Soak beans overnight, then simmer them with the onion, celery, clove, and the salt. (salt was not mentioned in the ingredients) Drain and mash, add 3 egg yolks (oh, the eggs need to be separated?), the cheese, and enough bread crumbs to obtain a good consistency (whatever that means). Mix well. Make patties that you will dip in the beaten egg whites and then coat with bread crumbs and fry in hot oil. Serve immediately.

So what did I do? I used cranberry beans. That's usually what "beans" means in an Italian recipe. Then I messed up by converting 500 gm (1/2 kilo) to 1/2 pound. I didn't catch my mistake until after I'd mixed in the three egg yolks, of course. I quartered the onion and the celery stalk and removed them, and the clove, before mashing the beans. Probably due to the fact that I only used half the amount of beans the recipe called for and all three of the eggs my mixture was a bit moist. I wound up adding 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. I assume you'd need less than that with the correct bean to egg ratio. The instructions don't say how many, or what size patties. I got twelve good sized ones, probably about 1/4 - 1/3 cup mixture per patty. I really think the full recipe would serve at least eight people. Finally, in the picture in the magazine, and mine, you can clearly see lemon wedges. Granted, Italians always squeeze fresh lemon on deep fried foods, but it's an important enough touch to merit at least a mention.


  1. What a great entry and recipe! I love fried bean patties and make them often. This is a for sure recipe to try. Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing...

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