Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Favorite Green Bean Recipe

Forgive my photo taking skills. They are definitely not the best, in fact I might say I'm camera/photo challenged.

But I am not green bean cooking challenged, even my KIDS love this!! (I'm assuming the bacon pieces are what draw their attention.)

I've loved green beans for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until I met my husband that I actually had young, tender, green beans. Ones that still had some snap to them and I absolutely fell in love. I'm from the Midwest, so for us green beans were always boiled with potatoes and bacon = no textural differences. Now I'm not slamming that way of preparing them, it's just not my first choice anymore.

If green beans are in season I recommend getting them fresh, snapping the end pieces off and blanching them before doing anything else. If you don't have that luxury then opt for frozen young whole green beans. We prefer the VIP brand. So let's dive right in.

4 strips of bacon chopped
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 pound green beans (thawed if frozen)
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1. Start out with a cold sauce pan and put your bacon pieces in it (I know most people start bacon in a hot skillet but to render out the fact, keep the bacon from curling and get it super crispy you start it out cold and heat both the pan and bacon at the same time)

2. Once your bacon is passed the limp stage but not quite super crisp dump in the onions and stir to combine, if you are using a stainless steel pan the onions will help pull some of the cooked bits off the bottom. Let this cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Stirring occasionally.

4. Now dump in the garlic and stir together, cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the white wine to de-glaze the pan and pull up all those yummy cooked bits.

5. After the wine has reduced by half throw in your green beans and warm through.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then serve.

We'll be having this tonight with baby back ribs...YUM!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Too Legit

So I couldn't help myself with the post title. A good friend of mine commented last night about me going legit so it only seemed fitting. Going legit with what you might ask?

I made the leap into the world of Facebook business pages. We're local only for now but it's still a huge step to me. You can check it out by clicking here. I've also linked this blog to my page so hopefully that motivates me to keep it updated. As another friend put it, I'm a quarterly poster ;), I'd have to say that "quarterly" in itself is kind, I wouldn't even say I'm quarterly about it!

I won't have any pictures in this post, fumbling with the camera in the kitchen is not my strong suit at all, in fact I love my camera and would hate for it to have an accident such as falling into a pot of hot bubbling jam or anything of the like.

It's one of those days where you can't really call it nasty but it surely isn't nice out either, ya know what I'm talking about? Overcast, gloomy, not raining but not sprinkling either...a steady depressing misting sort of day....My son woke up this morning sound a bit congested, coughing here and there, and with my still-swollen-from-wisdom-teeth-extraction-face I decided today was going to have to be another soup day, a chicken soup day. Hopefully that will keep him from getting any worse, I'll probably give him some warm lemon and honey water too for the cough.

So how am I going to make my soup? As I scanned the pantry I realized I'm completely out of homemade chicken stock (bummer, put that on the weekend project list) so we'll be doing it a little different today. We had roasted chicken 2 nights ago so I'll use the leftovers from that with the makings for stock in my soup pot and maybe, and I cringe as I type this, some chicken bouillon for added flavor. The soup pot is really a blank canvas asking for different combinations and flavors to be added to it. I'll share what's going into mine today

Leftover Roasted Chicken (2 breast pieces and some dark meat)
2 large carrots halved
1 onion sliced
3 cloves of roasted garlic
2 ribs of celery halved
coarse sea salt (to taste)
whole peppercorns (to taste)
1 bay leaf
allspice berries (to taste)
chicken bouillon cube (optional)

I like to cook down my onions so they give off a sweet and buttery flavor and texture to the soup so start with that. Put some olive oil (or butter) in the bottom of your soup pot and cook up the onions until tender. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cover with water. I usually add in 4 peppercorns and 3 allspice berries so I don't overpower everything else and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Mine will go for a couple of hours, if your veggies get to mushy you can always strain out the stock, pick the meat off the bones and return the meat to the stock then add in some new vegetables so they aren't complete mush and reheat and readjust the seasonings. If you want to add noodles do so at the end of cooking so they aren't overdone. Or serve with crusty bread. My husband is going the Primal/Paleo route so I try to avoid serving him temptation.

That's my soup though! I'll do my best to share at least one recipe a week if not more. What do you put into your soup pot on days like today?