Friday, June 5, 2009

A Quick Fix

Here's a fantastic side that takes no time at all. Blanched Green Beans with Sauteed Mushrooms. I used to sautee my green beans in olive oil, which took forever. So long in fact that by the time I was ready to eat them, they weren't exactly green anymore. Well, I had had it with my not-so-green beans and so I made a minor tweak, opting to blanch them instead. Blanching is a technique where you flash cook or parboil the vegetables in boiling water until they are just crisp tender. This allows the vegetables to retain all their vitamins and keep their beautiful color. Blanching only takes a few minutes and once the vegetables finish cooking, simply place them in an ice bath to keep them crisp.
Naturally, green beans by themselves are not awe-inspiring. Enter the mushrooms. Mushrooms make a brilliant addition and when paired with the crispness of the green beans, the results are simple and satisfying. Toss in a little minced garlic, a splash of white wine & freshly chopped thyme and you'll have a delicious quick fix for you and yours.

Blanched Green Beans with Sauteed Mushrooms


2 1/2 - 3 cups of green beans, washed and trimmed

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 packages of button mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme

A splash of white wine

Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the salt and green beans. Depending on the size of your pot, you may want to add the green beans in batches. Blanch the green beans for 2 minutes. They will be bright green. Using a skimmer, remove the green beans from the pot and place them in a bowl of ice water. Add the remaining green beans, blanch and place them in the ice bath. Drain the green beans.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme, white wine and season with salt and pepper. Stir ocassionally and sautee until nicely browned. Return the green beans to the pot and warm over low heat. Stir in the mushrooms, give it one final taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serves 4.

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