Everyday Mom's Meals: Not So Secret

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not So Secret

 One of my favorite shows on Food Network is Secrets of a Restaurant Chef w/ Anne Burrell. I think she is amazingly talented and can tell why Mario Batali always wanted her w/ him on Iron Chef America. She makes the most complicated dishes look easy for the home cook, and shows dishes you never thought could be made at home totally accessible. During an episode last week, in which I can't even tell you what the main dish was, b/c I was too taken w/ the veggie, she made these amazing green beans that I am trying tonight. For our family, anything is better w/ bacon. I'm sorry, pig fat rules!!! That I'm sure that is evident to all of you by now. A lot of times when we dine out, green beans have either bacon or ham in them, but here at home I just never think to do....until now:) Chef Anne has inspired me to make those restaurant quality beans here at home---so don't tell her, but her secret is out:)

Bacon Braised String Beans

Olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into lardons (small strips)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
kosher salt
1 lb. string beans, stems removed
1 c. chicken stock

Coat a large straight sided skillet lightly w/ olive oil. (I will use my large stock). Add the bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes & bring to a medium heat. Cook until the bacon is brown & crispy. When the garlic becomes golden brown & very aromatic, remove and discard. Add the mushrooms, season w/ salt and cook until they become soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beans & chicken stock, cover & cook over medium low heat for 40-45 minutes. If the liquid reduces too much during cooking time, add water to make up the difference. Remove the lid & cook until almost all of the liquid is reduced. When done, beans should be VERY tender, almost falling apart & very flavorful.

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