Green beans have a reputation as a vegetable most people can tolerate. They are fairly bland, which may be why they are often drowned in cream of mushroom soup and smothered in onion rings for holiday dinner.
Not at my house. I like them fresh and simply prepared, usually with just butter, salt and pepper.
Unless they've been frozen. In the fall, I stock my freezer with bags of frozen vegetables, bemoaning the end of the local harvest and the outdoor farm market (although I am pleased we have two indoor farm markets that sell herbs, eggs, baked goods, onions, apples and a few other edible delights).
I've shared my recipe for making frozen carrots palatable and my method for preparing Brussels sprouts. Now let's talk green beans.
I've been making frozen green beans this way for decades: I sometimes use fresh, too. I've tried other recipes, and this is my favorite. I plan to experiment a bit more, but not with cream of mushroom soup, I can assure you.
Green Beans Amandine with Shallots
- 1 package frozen green beans
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 small shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons almonds, sliced or coarsely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Using a saucepan, prepare beans according to package directions, using at least two cups of chicken broth in place of water. You may need to add water to the pan. Drain and set aside.
In large skillet, brown shallots in oil and butter, adding almonds once the shallots begin to caramelize. Put the green beans into the skillet, lower the heat, and stir, allowing flavors to blend. Alternately, you can pour the browned shallots and almonds into the saucepan, and blend with the beans. Season. Serves 3-4.
Anything prepared with almonds is generally called amandine, but sometimes you will see the term "almondine" in American cookbooks. Same thing. Those in the know use the French term.
This is a simple approach to making a bag of frozen green beans taste delightful.
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