Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Dijon Maple Sauced Green Beans

Some poetic words perhaps you can relate to  
by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
Skip the salt, its time to elevate your next green bean dish from ordinary to gourmet with Dijon Maple Sauced Green Beans. Recipe adapted from carlsbadcravings.com and serves 4.
Cook's Notes: This green bean dish is not boring by any means and bound to become a year-round favorite dinner side at your house. Crisp tender green beans sauteed in butter, garlic, onions and red pepper flakes, it's then infused with a sauce of Dijon, pure maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar topped with creamy Feta cheese and the crunch of almonds. It's tangy, salty, sweet, crunchy and crispy all rolled into one yummy dish,
Cooking Tips: What's the best way to cook fresh green beans?
There are several ways to cook fresh green beans from sautéing, roasting, or steaming. No matter the method, the most important part of cooking fresh green beans is to not OVER-COOK them. We want crisp-tender green beans and never mushy green beans.

My preferred method of cooking fresh green beans is to blanch them for tenderness and then sauté them for flavor. To do this:
Add water to a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
Add about 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Add green beans and boil for 2 minutes. Make sure you set a timer.
Drain green beans in a strainer and immediately add green beans to an ice bath.

  • 1 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onions
  • 1 cup diced white mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of red pepper
Dijon Maple Sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Optional garnishes:
  • Garlic and Herb Feta Cheese, crisp bacon bits, toasted pecans or almonds 
  • In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon Maple Sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  • Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions, sliced mushrooms garlic, red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add beans and Dijon Maple Sauce and continue to saute until beans are evenly coated in the sauce and beans and cooked to desired crisp-tenderness, about 8 minutes, taste test, as you do not want them soggy. 
  • Taste and season with additional red pepper flakes if needed and garnish with Feta, toasted almonds or pecans, bacon bits.

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