One mission of this Web site is to cater to the dinner-for-two crowd. Another is to exploit seasonal offerings. A third is to present uses for the spices, tools and techniques championed here. We do a bit of it all with this side dish I prepared last Saturday night for a musical group performing in the Alden Theater at the McLean Community Center. (Their contract called for a pre-performance dinner, so I was asked if . . .) The menu included coq au vin, rice, green beans and cookies. They ate heartily. After dinner, folks were munching the leftover green beans like French fries. They cleaned the bowl.
Heres the story on the beans, in two parts. A snack cracker called Crispini is a favorite of ours. It is a thin, crisp cracker loaded with seeds. I commented to the little woman that the seeds make the cracker and wondered what they all were. She rolled here eyes and said, Why dont you look at the list of ingredients, dear? Duh, I replied. Part two is my penchant for infused oils and spice combinations, as recorded on the Spices page. So, I needed a green for this dinner and the green romano beans at the market looked terrific. Thus we have:
Fresh Romano Green Beans, Blanched and Sautéed in Lemon Pepper Oil
Yield: 2 servings
See Abbreviations, if needed
· 6-8 oz fresh green romano beans, ends trimmed
· 1 t (each) poppy, sesame and mustard seed
· ½ t caraway seed
· 1T butter
· 1 t lemon-pepper infused olive oil
1. Wash and trim green beans
2. Blanch to el dente, chill shock and drain
3. At the last minute, place butter and infused oil in sauteuse
4. Add seeds and toast (dont burn)
5. Add pre-warmed blanched beans, toss and serve
Notes: You may steam the beans if you prefer that method to boiling in salt water. Either way, do bite tests and take the beans off heat when there is still a bit of resistance to the bite. Then plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain and hold in a warm place until you are ready to commence final dinner prep. Only so many seeds will cling to the beans, so not a lot of them are needed. The lemon-pepper infused olive oil is pretty strong. You want a hint of flavor.