Happy Thanksgiving and Green Beans
I have lost track of what we cooked over the last two weeks – but here are some pictures of the grub:
Strip Steak with Table d’hotel Butter from last night (the boys joined us). Tonight we shall fast and wear sackcloth.
Bourbon-Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Peppers and Mushrooms
Michael Symon’s Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde
Faglioli all’Uccelletto (Cannellini with Sage, Tomato and Sausage)
Happy Thanksgiving and Green Beans
This quick post just before Thanksgiving is not an attempt to influence your Thanksgiving menu. If you are like us, you have Holiday traditions and expectations which, to upset, would be to cause weeping and gnashing of teeth and, perhaps, even fisticuffs. And the last thing you want at Thanksgiving is fisticuffs, although I can recall a few times, growing up with four brothers, that minor holiday riots had to be suppressed by a naval aviator (our Dad), and the holiday was pretty good anyway.
Still, the recipe below is, indeed, one that we’ll be cooking for Thanksgiving. Our son, Billy, has been a green bean lover since he was a little boy. So, we’ve tried out many green bean dishes over the years. After the haricots verts for Salade Niçoise, I think these may be his favorite, but I’m not sure – you’ll have to ask him. And to those for whom eating vegetables is an act of virtue rather than a pleasure – give this recipe a try. We’ll think it will change your mind.
You are welcome to jump directly to the recipe, but we wanted to share with you an unusually social week in our lives. We ate out four times (well, three for SWMBO), meeting with good friends on Monday at Casbah, joining Billy to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday at LeVia, joining the Dunnings group on Thursday at the Cornerstone, and, on Friday, joining Mere and Howard and their relatives and friends for a great meal and drinks at Howard’s splendid, luminescent bar. Just to keep the streak going, we heated up a pizza from Driftwood Oven on Saturday and ate the leftovers on Sunday.
We will be cooking as many dishes as possible today, so that we don’t go postal and threaten each other with tongs or skillets tomorrow (apologies to the USPS and its wonderful employees). We really can’t wait to have family over for Thanksgiving, since it’s just we two so much of the time. And we wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving – does anybody have 4 brothers coming to dinner? Please let us know how it works out.
CREAMY GREEN BEAN SALAD
(Adapted from Katie Lee Biegel)
Timing: 20 minutes
Ingredients: Serves 4 – We’ll double the recipe for Thanksgiving
For the Salad:
1 lb. green beans trimmed
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced (we used 1)
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup crispy fried onions (the kind you buy in a container at the grocery store)
For the Dressing:
½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Make the Dressing – combine the yogurt, parmesan, mayo, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Chop the romaine
Trim the beans and prepare the mushrooms
Slice the celery and mince the garlic
Measure out the remaining ingredients
Cook and Assemble:
Melt the butter over medium-high in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring from time to time, until they are golden brown and have released all their moisture – 6-10 minutes.
Now stir in the thyme, Worcestershire, celery, garlic and salt to taste and cook for about 3 minutes – until the celery is beginning to brown.
Take off the heat and spread on a sheet tray to cool a bit.
While the mushrooms are cooking, bring a medium pot (large if you’re doubling the recipe) to a boil and arrange a large bowl of ice water on the counter and line a sheet tray with paper towels.
Generously season the water with salt and add the green beans and cook for 2 or 3 minutes (no more). Drain the beans and put them in the ice bath immediately. When they are cool, transfer them to the lined sheet tray and pat dry – I mean, really, pat very dry.
To assemble, to the large bowl with the dressing, add the beans, mushroom mixture and romaine. Toss to combine – take your time – make sure everything is nicely coated. Transfer to a serving dish or bowl and top with the almonds and crispy onions and serve now.