Searching for a sensational and succulent side dish? I have just the one, and it’s easy too. I’ve gone a bit ga-ga over chestnuts lately, so am always looking for new ways in which to use them. I spotted this recipe on epicurious.com and decided to give it a try. Am I ever glad that I did, it is so delicious, and rather elegant at the same time. The haricots vert can be cleaned and trimmed the day prior and chilled in a sealable bag lined with paper towels, making it a great make ahead dish. My guess is that you can cook the bacon ahead and save a tablespoon or so of the bacon grease and assemble things in a flash at a moment’s notice. Recipes like this make me long for the drop-in guest.
Haricots Verts with Bacon and Chestnuts
1 1/2 pounds haricots verts or other thin green beans, trimmed
4 bacon slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup Melissa's whole peeled and cooked chestnuts, coarsely crumbled
Cook beans in a medium pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water), uncovered, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry.
Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving fat in skillet*, then crumble. Add butter to fat in skillet along with beans, chestnuts, bacon, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
*This was way too much bacon fat for me, so I poured about half of it off to save for another use.
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