Monday, November 5, 2012
Green Beans with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dried Cranberries
This is my favorite way to serve green beans at Thanksgiving and I've been making it for years. Green beans and bacon are a natural pair, and the coating of melted blue cheese works well with both. This year I experimented with dried cranberries, which adds a nice sweet dimension. Certainly, omit any of those ingredients if you are vegetarian, nut-allergic or (oddly) opposed to blue cheese.
Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dried Cranberries
1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
4 thick-cuts stripes of bacon
2 oz. blue cheese (such as stilton)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Fresh-ground black pepper
1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the green beans about 2 minutes. Drain the beans and then put them in a bowl of ice water to quickly cool.
2. While the water boils, heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Toast the pecans a bit until fragrant. Remove from pan. Increase heat to medium. Fry bacon until bright red and crispy. Remove from pan and chop into bits about 1/2-inch wide. Drain off all but about 2 tbsp. bacon fat from pan. Drain green beans and sauté in pan about 2-3 minutes. Add the blue cheese and stir to combine as cheese melts. Stir in the pecans and dried cranberries. Season with fresh-ground black pepper.
[Note: outside of Thanksgiving, this makes a great dinner entree if served over couscous. I suggest cooking the couscous in chicken broth flavored with garlic, curry powder, cumin and seasoned salt.]