Tagged green beans

Green Beans with Coconut-Mustard Sauce


2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, optional
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (I used a raspberry whole-grain mustard that I’m trying to finish up, hence the pinkness)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds green beans, trimmed

Bring pot of water to boil. When boiling, add green beans and cook 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and shock in bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again.

While boiling water, toast mustard seeds in dry skillet over medium heat, about 30 minutes or until they start popping. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add onion, vinegar, water and coconut milk to skillet and bring to a boil. When boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter if using, mustard seeds, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss green beans with coconut-mustard sauce, adjusting seasoning if necessary.

Serves 8.

Basque-Style Green Beans for the Feast of St. Bernadette


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped Basque/Bayonne Ham, or Jamon Iberico or Serrano, or Prosciutto

Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté minced garlic over medium heat, just until garlic begins to turn color. Add in onions and sauté a few minutes, until onions are limp and beginning to color. Add red peppers, keep sautéing a few minutes more, then add green beans. Give a quick stir, cover and cook 5 minutes. Test for tenderness — you want the green beans still a very lively green and with a bit of resistance. Cook a few more minutes or to desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and toss with chopped ham. Serve.

See also: Olive and Anchovy Pinchos/Pintxos for St. Bernadette’s Feast Day

Prayer of St. Bernadette Soubirous:

Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart.
O Jesus! Release all my affections and draw them upwards.
Let my crucified heart sink forever into Thine and bury itself in the mysterious
wound made by the entry of the lance.”

Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Salad

Adapted from Epicurious.

2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 cups water
1 whole chicken breast with skin and bones (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 yellow onion, sliced
10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons salt
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped coarse
1/2 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into thin strips
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups lettuce (I used butter lettuce)

Several hours before you plan to serve this, arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dry tomatoes in a low oven (170 degrees) until medium-dry. (I do this overnight, or early in the morning and then use the tomatoes for supper. Great way to use up CSA tomatoes or when tomatoes are in abundance from the garden or the farmer’s market in the summer.)

In a medium saucepan combine water, chicken, yellow onion, cloves, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring water to a boil. Poach chicken, covered, over moderately low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool chicken in cooking liquid to room temperature. Remove chicken and tear meat into bite-size pieces. Reserve poaching liquid for another use. Peel and slice potatoes. In a saucepan combine potatoes, remaining teaspoon salt, and water to cover by 1 inch and bring water to a boil. Cook potatoes 10 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer potatoes with a slotted spoon to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. In same boiling water cook green beans 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender, and drain in colander with potatoes. Simmer tomatoes 2 minutes, or until softened, and drain. Cut tomatoes into thin strips. In a large bowl combine chicken, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients except lettuces and toss to combine well. Season salad with salt and pepper and serve over lettuces.

This is fine for a light meal but the flavors would have been better if the chicken had been grilled instead of poached, and the potatoes and green beans roasted. You won’t need a lot of fat doing things that way, a tablespoon or so of oil would suffice for each, but what a difference it would make!

Chop Suey, a repost

A recipe I originally posted in 2005 at b5media’s Noodles and Rice (now Blisstree).


Chop Suey has long been rumored to be an American creation rather than a Chinese one. A search around the ‘net will show you just how much this story has spread. From tales of an angry restaurateur trying to get back at some customers and serving them leftover veggies meant for the garbage, calling the dish “chopped sewage”, to a Chinese diplomat visiting the White House and not finding anything suitable to eat, prompting him to commandeer the kitchen and whip up a stir-fry for himself from whatever he found there. These stories can be found even in cookbooks written by Chinese-Americans, such as Calvin Lee’s. Giving credence to the legend is the absence of “chop suey” in the more traditional Chinese cookbooks, such as Irene Kuo’s and Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s books. However, when the book The Food of China came out in 1988, the question of chop suey’s origins finally had an answer. In it, Eugene Anderson reveals that in fact, Chop Suey is from Toisan, a district south of Canton, from which early immigrants to America came. The words chop suey come from tsap seui, meaning miscellaneous scraps. Mr. Anderson further reports that the dish usually has noodles and bean sprouts included.

This particular chop suey has neither. It is how chop suey is usually prepared in the Philippines — a little pork, a little shrimp, sometimes a little chicken, a whole bunch of veggies. Whether or not you use leftovers is up to you. (What intrigues me is how this dish got to the Philippines — was it brought over by the Chinese, or by the Americans?)

You start out with a basic Filipino saute of garlic and onions, then add the meats and seasoning, then the veggies, then a bit of thickening sauce at the end. It is fast, delicious, and lends itself to endless experimentation. The amounts given here are approximations. Vary according to what you have in the refrigerator or freezer.

This dish can be made without any meat, so it’s very adaptable for Lent and for vegetarians/vegans.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup chopped shrimp
1/4 cup shredded pork (I like using lean pork, but you may use just about any cut of pork you like)
1/4 cup shredded chicken (you may also use cooked chicken)
salt or fish sauce to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
6-8 cups chopped vegetables (e.g., broccoli, sweet bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, sliced cabbage or Napa cabbage, bok choy, frenched green beans, spinach, celery, etc. — it’s always nice to have a mix so your dish ends up colorful)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, chicken stock and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions when hot but not smoking. Saute/stir-fry until onions are limp. Add shrimp, pork and chicken. Season with salt or fish sauce and black pepper to taste. Cover and let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir, then cover again and cook another 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through. (If using a lean cut such as tenderloin, reduce cooking time to the first 5 minutes only.) Add vegetables and stir-fry, adding first those that take longer to cook, such as carrots and green beans, cooking them for a few minutes, then adding those that take less time, such as cabbage and other leafy vegetables. When veggies are almost completely cooked, return to high heat. Give the oyster sauce mixture a final stir and pour into the pan. Quickly fold sauce into vegetables to coat and thicken. Remove from heat.

Serves 4-6.

A recipe I originally posted in 2005 at b5media’s Noodles and Rice (now Blisstree).