Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I was just getting meat out to thaw for dinner and preparing to accompany it with green beans. We love our green beans. They are my favorite vegetable side dish and they look nice enough to serve for holiday meals (we do... right next to the brussels sprouts, yum!). The most important item needed to make truly exceptional veggies of any kind is a steamer basket or if you have a nice cookware set you may be the proud owner of a steamer insert (it looks like the top of a double boiler but has holes in the bottom... you may have wondered how you can dip chocolates if the chocolate all ends up in the water under the pan). First, put an inch of water or so in the bottom of the pan (otherwise the veggie juices burn onto the bottom of pan, veggies don't cook, and the smoke detector goes off.... we have had that happen). Don't let the water touch the vegetables. Steam actually cooks faster than boiling in water (so says Alton Brown). Next, fill the steamer insert with as many green beans as you would like to eat. Then, top the beans with slices (I use half circles) of sweet onion... we usually use one whole large onion...this makes half beans, half onions our favorite ratio. Cook the beans and onions until they are tender (about 20 minutes for us, I buy frozen petite green beans). Once the beans are cooked lift the steamer insert off the water and drain water. Pour beans and onions into the saucepan. For the final decadent touch I add about a tablespoon of butter (sometimes) and a small handful of prepared bacon bits. Dave and the kids get confused by the bacon bits into thinking this is a bacon dish instead of a vegetable one. It puts Chris off a little and he has to separate the bacon out of the beans. Sam and Dave are tricked into eating the beans.