Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds

Green Bean almondine
Fresh veggies are the best! And green beans rank right up there for me with artichokes and corn on the cob. My green bean casserole is always a hit at the holidays, but it was time to come up with something new. By adding almonds and garlic, this fresh green bean side dish was packed with flavor without all the heavy creaminess of a casserole.

1 pound fresh green beans
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon bacon fat
12 teaspoon butter or margarine
1 large clove fresh garlic, chopped and divided
1/2 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse the green beans and snap the ends off. Break the long beans in half.
Green Beans with almonds
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop the green beans into the salted boiling water for two to three minutes. Immediately remove and plunge them into the bowl of ice water, to lock in that bright green color. This is called blanching. And the look on hubby's face when he saw the ice bowl in the sink was priceless.
In a deep 10-inch skillet melt a tablespoon of bacon fat & a 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

Add the sliced almonds and 1/4 of the garlic, stirring occasionally until toasted and golden. Remove to a small bowl and set them off to the side. I didn't cook mine very long so they were light golden, but boy were they flavorful!

Cook the garlic and shallots in the skillet until fragrant. Drain and shake off any excess water from the beans, then place them in the skillet. Toss and cook the beans. Add the almonds back in. Everyone in the pool (as Guy Fieri says).
Season with a generous amount of black pepper and toss, cooking until the green beans are heated through but still crispy.  I love fresh green beans and they were a perfect compliment to our savory smoked pork ribs.
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