Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

First, let's all take a moment to let my mom have a good, long laugh. You see, I hate green beans, truth be told. Well, what I actually hate is Southern green beans, especially the kind canned at home. They really aren't green after canning. And they hardly taste like beans. They're mush. Yes. I'm 5 years old (still). My parents always made me eat one spoon full of beans at dinner, so I'd shove every single one onto my fork and take one big bite, choking them down and whining about it all the while.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

But I'm not 5 any more. (I bet you already knew that.) And now that I can cook for myself I do actually eat beans. I roast and sprinkle them with kosher salt. I saute them in garlic and olive oil and sprinkle them with toasted almonds. And I pile them on my plate at the Chinese buffet ... the exact reason I was attracted to this recipe. I don't know what's in the sauce at the buffet, but I do know what's in this sauce, and it's good stuff. These beans are perfect with chicken and rice, but they'd sit beautifully beside roast pork or a nice juicy steak, too. And if you're not into the whole meat thing just add some carrots and red pepper and serve over rice. Perfection.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Where am I getting fresh green beans in the middle of winter? My freezer. My dad grew these beans over the summer, and I have just a couple of bags left now. What a treat to have something wholesome, fresh, and bright green when the world outside is cold, gray, and damp. When summer rolls around I highly recommend you pick beans at your neighbors' house (they keep begging you to pick some off their ever-producing vines, anyway, right?) or head to the farmers market and get some beans to freeze for yourself. A foodsaver is worth its weight in gold, I tell you what.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes 4 servings

If you decide to add vegetables to your beans to make a vegetarian meal you might want to double - or even triple - your amount of sauce.

Ingredients
3/4 pound fresh or frozen green beans
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions
1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Steam beans 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce and honey.
3. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add beans and saute, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour sauce over beans and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until liquid is mostly cooked away. Serve hot.

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