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Posts Tagged ‘green beans’

Friends know how much I enjoy cooking and are always sending me links to recipes. Recently a friend was cleaning out her kitchen in anticipation of a move and gave me a box of cookbooks. Score! I was especially interested in this 1997 cookbook focusing on using produce from the local farmers’ markets.

 

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Filled with great ideas!

I had a small bag of green beans in the refrigerator that I needed to use, so I zeroed in on a recipe for a cold green bean potato salad. It sounded like something we’d like on these hot summer days!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. green beans, cut and steamed

4 large potatoes, diced and boiled

2 scallions

 DRESSING:

2 Tbl. oil

2 Tbl. vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small onion, sliced

½ tsp. oregano

Pepper to taste

 WHAT YOU DO:

Prepare the dressing first so the ingredients have time to blend together. I put everything in a jar and shook it up.

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dressing ingredients

Wash and de-stem green beans. Since my bag was just under half of a pound, I halved the recipe which worked out nicely.

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just under half of a pound

Break into small bite-size pieces and steam. I used a microwave steamer; you could steam on the stove-top in a covered skillet with a little bit of water. Don’t over-steam the green beans; you don’t want a mushy mess!

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a microwave steamer basket

Chop the potatoes. My fruit/vegetable chopper made quick work of this task and gave me uniform pieces which makes for even boiling.

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a handy kitchen tool!

When tender, drain potatoes. Chop the scallions and combine with the green beans and potatoes in a medium bowl.

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Combine potatoes, green beans, and scallions.

Add the dressing and toss gently to mix the ingredients well.

Cover the salad and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

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Cold green bean potato salad!

This is definitely a twist on potato salad! The dressing with oregano gives it an Italian flavor. I don’t think it will replace my regular mayo-rich potato salad, but it is a nice way to use up a small dab of green beans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those green beans we’re getting are amazing! You can blanch and freeze to eat later, or you can throw everything into a pot right now and have some delicious country green beans in just minutes.

Green beans rank as the 5th most popular vegetable grown at home; tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions claim the first four spots. Recent surveys have shown that 60% of all commercially grown green beans are produced in the United States. Most people will eat green beans!

LET’S LOOK AT BLANCHING FIRST: Just about everything I know about blanching and canning was gleaned from this book I got for Christmas years (and years) ago.

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Who better than Betty to teach a new wife
how to feed that man of hers?

Blanching, the scalding of vegetables in boiling water or steam, slows or stops the action of enzymes and preserves texture, color and flavor. If vegetables are not blanched, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage causing off-colors, off-flavors and toughening.

HOW TO BLANCH: Prepare your green beans by washing and removing ends. You can break into smaller pieces or just leave whole. Allow one gallon of water per pound of vegetables. Bring the water to boil and lower vegetables into the water, allowing the water to continue boiling.

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Different veggies require different times;
green beans need 3 minutes.

Cover and start counting the blanching time. When time expires, quickly remove the veggies from the boiling water and plunge them into a large bowl of ice water (ice bath) to stop the cooking process. This is called “shocking.”

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Cool vegetables for the same amount of time as they are blanched.

Remove from ice bath and dry on paper towels or clean kitchen cloth.

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Remove as much moisture as possible to prevent ice crystals from forming in freezer.

I then spread them in a single layer on a plastic-wrap lined cookie sheet and pop into freezer to “flash freeze” for about 10 minutes. This prevents them from freezing into a solid chunk.

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The plastic wrap allows me to easily pick them up and transfer to a freezer bag.

This website states that blanched green beans will last, in general, up to 9 months in a Ziploc bag in an ordinary freezer and 14 months in a deep freeze in a vacuum packed bag. After that, the beans won’t make you sick; they just won’t taste as good.

COUNTRY GREEN BEANS: My daughter shared this recipe with me a few years ago, and it is now my “go-to” recipe for green beans.

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (or use your blanched, frozen beans)

1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon or ham

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup butter (may use half olive oil, but the butter adds richness)

1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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Throw everything into a skillet with a lid. Cover and simmer on medium heat until beans are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

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