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Friday, September 12, 2008

Wrinkled Green Beans

I haven't shared a recipe with you for a few posts, so here's a really good one to make up for it. Green beans are great right now. They're in season so they are at their lowest price, plus they are probably the freshest you'll get all year. This is a recipe for those wrinkled green beans commonly found in Chinese restaurants. They're sauteed over a med-high heat with some garlic and finished with a simple sauce of honey, soy sauce and a little water. The beans get shriveled from direct contact with the hot oil and the sauce makes a nice glaze for them. I think most of us keep soy sauce, honey and garlic in our kitchens, so this can be put together without much advance thought. If you like a little heat, you can toss in a few red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds before adding the sauce.

You could serve these with grilled anything (chicken, fish, steak, pork.) If you like teriyaki sauce, you might consider brushing your grilled meat with this teriyaki sauce, available in most supermarkets. It is really good, almost as good as my own homemade. I buy it because I use teriyaki often. It is nice to just quickly pull out a bottle from the fridge rather than make a sauce from scratch each time. Salmon and teriyaki sauce are great together. Just remember to brush the teriyaki sauce on toward the end of cooking so it doesn't burn. You can brush it on roasted salmon too, if you're not in the mood to grill. And serve it with these green beans and some rice. Oh, and be careful with the heat on the green beans. There's butter in the recipe and you don't want it to burn.

(In my picture, the teriyaki salmon is garnished with some peach salsa.)

Chinese Restaurant-Style Sautéed Green Beans
by Susie Middleton

To learn more, read the article:
Fast & Flavorful Vegetable Sautés

Choose young, fresh green beans that are all about the same size for this dish. I think it’s easiest to start out stirring the beans with tongs and then switch to a heatproof spatula to add the garlic and sauce.Serves two to three as a side dish.

1 Tbs. less-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. green beans, trimmed
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. minced garlic

Combine the soy sauce, honey, and 1 Tbs. water in a small dish and set near the stove. Set a shallow serving dish near the stove, too.

In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the green beans and 1/2 tsp. salt and toss with tongs to coat well. Cook, turning the beans occasionally, until most are well browned, shrunken, and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. (The butter in the pan will have turned dark brown.)

Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Carefully add the soy mixture (you’ll need to scrape the honey into the pan). Cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces to a glazey consistency that coats the beans, 30 to 45 seconds.

Immediately transfer the beans to the serving dish, scraping the pan with the spatula to get all of the garlicky sauce. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve warm.
serving suggestions:Serve these with roast pork or even as a substantial part of a vegetarian meal.

From Fine Cooking 91, pp. 45

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