Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

I love the Noble Pig Winery blog.  It is written by Cathy Pollak, a former wine enthusiast who, with her husband, ended up being owners of a vineyard and producing their own wine.  Cool, huh?  The blog is always interesting, written in a wonderfully friendly conversational tone, and features some mouthwatering recipes. 

I am always looking for new ways to prepare green beans since it happens to be Mr. O-P’s favorite (and when I say favorite, I mean it is one about which he does not seem to grumble), so we have them quite a lot.  When I saw this recipe last week, I knew I had to try it.  Thumbs up from us both on this one. Lover of vegetables that I am, I could have eaten this entire bowl and called it dinner.

There is a great tutorial here if you want to take a look; the recipe is below with a few of the changes that I made.  

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed (I used 1lb.)
3/4 pound bacon ends and pieces or thick cut bacon,
chopped (I used 4 slices)
2 large shallots, sliced into thin rings (I diced mine)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch beans in three separate batches*, boiling for 3-4** minutes each (beans should be soft with a slight crunch ~ taste before removing the whole batch from the water.) Immediately plunge beans into a large bowl filled with ice water; let sit for two minutes before removing to a paper towel lined tray. Repeat with other two batches of beans. Soak up any excess water on beans with more paper towels, it's best if they are as dry possible. This process can be done several hours in advance if you choose.

In a large skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. Over low heat, fry shallots*** until slightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Return beans to the pan and toss with the shallots, slightly warming the beans as well. Remove beans and shallots from the pan, shaking off any excess grease, and place on a serving tray. Season well with salt. Sprinkle bacon on top and serve immediately.

*I used a fairly big pot so that I was able to blanch all of the beans at once.  I turned them out into my largest mixing bowl that I had filled with ice water.

** I know the popular way to eat green beans these days is when they are crunchy, but Mr. O-P and I prefer our beans with bend-ability, so I cooked mine for about 6 minutes.

*** After removing the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, I wiped out the pan and sautéed the shallots in what remained of the bacon drippings.

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