Sunday, July 10, 2011

Love those green beans, yes I do!

Does your idea of cooking green beans mean tossing them into a vat of boiling water with a little salt and possibly some pork for flavor?  Oh, yummy!  And on Thanksgiving are you planning on cooking some poor defenseless little beans to death and then finishing them off by drowning them in processed mushroom soup with some chemically-laiden crunchies tossed on top?

Here's a thought.  Why not leave the goodness in them?  They will taste so much better.  You don't need to drown them in "old-school, processed flavor".  You will get the nutrition, the flavor of the wonderful bean, and as an added bonus,  nowhere near the calories.  It's a win-win situation!

I discovered this method of cooking while dining in a little restaurant in Eugene, Oregon.  My first thought was, "How simple! I can't believe I've never thought of doing this myself."  And I have been making my green beans like this ever since.  I hope you like them.

So, are you ready?

The secret to the best green beans you ever ate is the same secret the oriental people of the world have been practicing for years.  Sauté!  Well, OK.  The French would beg to differ.  But whoever invented sauté, was a genius when it comes to healthy eating.

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Start with fresh, crisp green beans.  Pick out the smaller, thinner one's.  Don't buy fat green beans.  They have been left on the vine too long and will be tough, fibrous, nasty tasting.  Yuk!

Crush or thinly slice 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.
Grab a large sprig of rosemary from your yard.  If you don't have any in your yard, try a neighbor's yard, the store, or as a last resort, a bottle of dried rosemary.

optional:
Fresh lime juice
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Be sure you have a skillet large enough to accomodate your beans, leaving plenty of room to turn them frequently.  A wok will do nicely as well.

Use a good oil like Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Don't use too much.  You can always add more.  Heat your oil (not too hot).  

Throw in your garlic.

Throw in your rosemary.  I generally wash it first and then cut it up into 2 or 3 inch pieces.  Don't worry about the needles falling off.  They are tasty and good for you.  If you have decided on bottled rosemary, this is where you toss in a tsp or two.

Stir for about 20 seconds.

Throw in your green beans.  As many as you like - but don't overload the skillet.  You want to be able to move the beans around freely and turn them over easily.
Check your oil.  Is there enough?  Add more now if you need it.  Not too much.  You are not taking your beans for a swim.

This is where you want to keep your beans moving around the pan.  They should turn a bright green.  Keep moving a bit longer.  The idea here is to cook them to the point that they are still crunchy, but not quite raw anymore.  Feel free to grab one and test it out.  Get a small one.  They're not as hot.  LOL

When you are happy with the texture of your crunchy beans (if you wait till they are mushy, you might as well have dumped them into a vat of boiling water), turn off the fire.  If you are using an electric stove, you might even want to take them off of the element.

Sometimes I add the lime juice and sometimes I don't.  They are great either way.

Take out your rosemary stems.  Don't worry about the needles that fell off.  They have cooked with your beans. If you chose a bottle, don't do anything.

Your beans are done.  Sea salt and pepper to taste.

Bon Appetite! 

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