Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipes: Green Beans with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Mushrooms

Thanksgiving is a time for culinary overindulgence. Period. But with this very classic, very easy, and very healthy (at least by Thanksgiving standards), you can overindulge and not feel too guilty.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Mushrooms

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Mushrooms
BY: Samuel Parks
(November 2011)

I’ve tried scads of green bean casserole recipes in the past…one with made from scratch onion crisps, one that made all sorts of weird substitutions, and even the one from the back of the can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (which in my opinion is the sole reason they continue to make such vial substitution for real soup).  This green bean recipe is quick, easy, and tasty…and best of all it’s surprisingly healthy.  So go ahead, eat something green on Thanksgiving.  You can have a second piece of pie to make up for it later.


·         4 lbs. fresh green beans or snap beans
·         2 tsp. distilled vinegar
·         ¼ - ½ cup butter
·         2 medium white/ yellow onions, cut in half and sliced into thin strips.
·         1 (12 oz.) package fresh portabello mushrooms, sliced thinly
·         ½ lb. bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled. 
·         Salt and pepper to taste

1.      Melt the butter in a large skillet on the stove until it has foamed over, but before it begins to smoke.  You should have enough butter in the pan to coat the onions, but not so much that they are swimming in pool of melted butter. 
2.      Add the trimmed onions to the pan with the butter and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally for 25-30 minuets until the onions are a light to dark brown color depending on your taste preferences (the darker the cooked onion, the sweeter it will be)
3.      Trim the green beans to remove the woody stems and uneven ends.  Do not cut into smaller pieces.  The beans should be fairly long after this initial trimming.
4.      Bring a large stock pot of well salted water (add about ¼ cup Kosher salt) to a boil.
5.      Add the vinegar and trimmed beans to the stock pot.  Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes until al dente (or tender crisp-the beans should be cooked but still be a little firm)
6.      Remove the pot from the stove top as soon as the beans have reached the desired doneness.
7.      Strain the beans from the hot water and place into an ice water bath to arrest the cooking process (an ice bath is just a large bowl or pot filled with water and ice, and is used to stop the cooking process when texture is important).
8.      Combine the cooked beans, onions, sliced mushrooms, and crumbled bacon in a large skillet and cook just until the mixture is heated.* 
9.      Salt and pepper to taste.

Yields 8 servings (plus some leftovers)

*I prefer my mushrooms to have more umph… if you prefer softer mushrooms, simply co

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