Super Beans


This is an easy-to-prepare classic side dish that my family has made for many years.

Ingredients:

3 cans (14.75 oz. each) cut green beans, drained
1 14.75 oz. can mushrooms (stems and pieces), drain 1/2 liquid off
1 small onion, chopped
4-6 strips bacon, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 tbs. white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the bacon until lightly browned and drain off rendered fat. Add the onion and saute until lightly carmelized.

Add the mushrooms, green beans and salt/pepper to taste after adding each can. (My dad insists that it tastes better this way.)
Add one tbs. vinegar and stir to incorporate. Place in a heavy saucepan or baking dish and cover. Cook on low for about 1 hour until the green beans are just tender.

Serves: 4-6

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Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar


I love roasted carrots – not a big fan of the fresh or baby variety. I try to work them into meals prepared on the weekend since I have more time to cook. Enter this great recipe – it’s simple and elevates any meal.

Large carrots offer much more flavor. The key is to not overcook them. Roast until they are firm but can easily be pierced with a fork. The brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and thyme balance this dish well. Try pairing them with prime rib or pot roast.

Ingredients:

1 pound carrots, either fresh or bagged, but not the baby variety
2 tbs. XV olive oil
2 tbs. real butter
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 tbs. fine chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced fine
1 scallion, washed trimmed and minced (keep the greens and white stalk)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch of fresh or dried thyme
Dash of balsamic vinegar


Directions:

Wash, trim and peel the carrots. Place in a roasting pan with the minced scallion. Preheat your oven to 400°.

In a separate saucepan or heavy skillet, add the olive oil and butter. Heat until melted, but do not brown. Add the garlic, parsley and saute lightly. Add the chicken stock, brown sugar and mix well. Bring up to a slow simmer and add the salt and thyme. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the liquid over the carrots and scallion and toss lightly to coat. Drizzle with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Place in the oven uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned, rotating once. Test by piercing with a fork.

Remove and transfer to a covered serving dish with the sauce.

Serves 4-6.

Roasted Asparagus


I absolutely love asparagus. This recipe is so easy and quick to prepare. I make it every spring when it is in peak season. In a pinch, I’ve used dried tarragon and it still tastes great.

Ingredients:

1 large bunch asparagus spears
2 tsp. olive oil or melted butter
2 tbs. fresh snipped chervil or 2 tsp. snipped fresh snipped tarragon
Coarse salt to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Snap off and discard the woody base from the asparagus spears. Scrape off scales if desired.

Combine the olive oil or butter and one-half of the chervil or tarragon. Drizzle over asparagus and toss lightly to coat. In a greased baking pan or cast-iron skillet, arrange the asparagus in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with the salt.

Roast uncovered 4-6 minutes until just tender, stirring once. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining chervil or tarragon.