Sunday, February 3, 2013

Quick and tasty green beans

Yesterday we had our One-Act Play Festival at Barley Sheaf Players.  This is one of my favorite theater events of the year. I love the full range of performances, the support and companionship, and all the thoughtful feedback.  They make for a real "feel good" kind of morning.  It has become tradition for many of us to get together and have brunch afterwards, and today that led to an impromptu potluck gathering at the Robinsons.  Time was limited and my fridge was empty, so I had to think, and cook, quickly!

I decided to make garlic and shallot green beans.  They are super easy, and it meant that all I needed at the store was green beans, because for some reason, even when I don't have milk, or eggs in the fridge, I somehow always have garlic and shallots in the veggie bowl on my counter.  

So, you start by trimming your beans, or by buying them fresh but already trimmed.  Get a large pot of lightly salted water boiling.  Once it's got a rolling boil going, throw in your beans.  Let them boil for about 2 minutes, then drain them, and shock them with ice water.  

I usually just throw ice on top of them and add some cold water right to their pot after I have poured off the cooking water.  This saves me cleaning a dish, which I like :)While your beans are chilling out, either dice or throw 2-3 shallots and 3ish cloves of garlic into a mini food processor (have I mentioned I love mine?!)  
Heat a little olive oil and a touch of butter in a large skillet over medium.  Once it is hot, saute the shallots and garlic for just a few minutes, and go ahead and drain your beans again.  I love shocking because they will be so green! 

Toss in your green beans and mix everything together.  At this point, I like to add salt, pepper, and a shake of red pepper flakes for just a little hint of heat.  

The last thing I did was make some parmesan cheese crisps.  These are really simple.  I pre-heat the oven to around 375-400.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then just grate little piles of cheese onto the paper.  Heat them for just a few minutes, and take them out before they get brown (I find when they cook too long they get bitter.)  Let them cool for just a minute and then use a metal spatula to carefully slide them off the paper and onto the top of your green beans in a serving dish. 

These were a great addition to Allie's Mac and Cheese and our other tasty treats.  Give them a try!