Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

I have a go to method for making green bean sides:  blanche, shock, dry and saute in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Season with s + p.  It's simple and goes with a lot of main courses.  

I decided to shake things up a bit and try something new.  This follows the same method but with new, more unusual ingredients.  Enjoy!

Castelvetrano olives are sicilian olives with a beautiful green color, mildly brined, buttery flavor.  I have had a hard time finding them pitted, so you'll probably have to remove the pits yourself.  The flesh on these likes to hold onto the pit so you're best bet is to just slice it off on each side.  

Serves 2-3.

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

3/4 lb green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

10 castelvetrano olives, pits removed

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

s + p

Boil a pot of water, add a pinch of salt to season.  Add green beans, blanch about 60 to 90 seconds, until crisp tender.  Transfer green beans to ice bath to shock.  Once cold, dry green beans.  

Heat a 10" pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil, when oil is hot, add beans.  Cook until hot, stirring and moving beans around pan.  Remove from heat and toss with sherry vinegar.  Set aside. Salt lightly and pepper.  

Return pan to medium heat, adding a small amount of oil if needed.  Add almonds and olives, cook, stirring until warm, about 2 minutes.  Toss with green beans.  

 

 

Broccoli + Brown Sauce

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This was the side to peking duck we made a few weeks ago.  To make it a meal, toss with cooked tofu and serve over brown rice.  

Serves 4 as a side. 

Broccoli + Brown Sauce

2 heads broccoli, sliced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Splash of oil

1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1 inch ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 long red hot chile, seeded, sliced

Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute.  Drain and transfer to ice bath.  Once cool, drain.  

In a small bowl, mix soy, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Set aside.  

Heat a splash of oil in a skillet or wok over medium high heat.  Add broccoli, ginger, garlic and chile.  Cook 2 minutes stirring frequently.  Add sauce.  Bring to a boil and add corn starch slurry.  Cook until thickened. Serve.

Garlic Green Beans

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Garlicky deliciousness.   A good side dish for any occasion but this year, these will be on the thanksgiving table.  They can be blanched ahead of time and sauted before dinner.  Can also easily be doubled or tripled to feed a larger group.  

Serves 4.

Garlic Green Beans

1 lb green beans, trimmed

1 teaspoon oil

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 garlic cloves, grated

salt

Blanche green beans is salted boiling water for no longer than 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add green beans, chile flakes and grated garlic.  Saute until cooked through.  Don't burn the garlic.  Salt to taste.

Mashed Potatoes

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Nevermind the turkey, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie.  I look forward to mashed potatoes all year long.   Why don't I make these the rest of the year?  Who knows.  I'd be happy with a plate of mashed potaoes, white meat turkey and a bowl of gravy.  Oh, and a dinner roll.  That's all I really need for a thanksgiving dinner.  

How about you?  Is there a particular dish that means more to you than all the others?  

If you're trying to decide how much mashed potatoes you'll need for your group they say it's 1 potato per person but obviously I think that's crazy.  1 1/2 potatoes per person at least!  (ahem, leftovers.)

Mashed Potatoes

6 idaho potatoes, peeled and halved

1/2 tablespoon butter (or more if you like)

1 cup milk, plus more if needed

s + p

Boil a large pot of water, add potatoes and boil until potatoes are soft and almost falling apart.  Strain and transfer to a bowl.  Add butter and milk.  Mashed or whip to desired consistency.  Salt and pepper.  Serve hot.  

Warm milk or stock may need to be added right before serving if potatoes look too dry.  

Sweet + Spicy Glazed Carrots

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Not the syrupy sweet glazed carrots you might've had before.  These have a hint of chile complemented by the natural sweetness of the carrots and agave.  Choose carrots of different hues like purple, orange and white for a colorful plate.  

Sweet + Spicy Glazed Carrots

2 bunches baby carrots, peeled and trimmed

1/2 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon siracha

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl combine water, siracha, vinegar and agave.  Set aside.   Heat butter in skillet to melt it.  Add carrots.  Cook 1 minute.  Add liquid.  Increase heat to high and boil away liquid.  It will take about 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.  

Cam's Corn Succotash

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I heart this.  It's so summery and demands a picnic.  For me, no outdoor summer meal is complete without a corn dish and this one, made by Cameron, my husband,  is great.  It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes by changing the lime to lemon and swapping the cilantro for basil.   

Cam has a nice little trick to neatly getting the kernels of corn off the cob and into a bowl with minimal mess.  As shown in the picture, place a cup upside down in the bottom of a large bowl, stand the corn cob on the cup, slice the kernels off and they will fall into the bowl.  When done, remove cup.   

Serves 4. 

Corn Succotash 

olive oil

kernels of 4 ears fresh corn

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 red pepper, seeded, diced

cilantro leaves, chopped 

lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

s + p

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallot and poblano, cook 2 minutes.  Add corn, cook 2 minutes or until corn is glossy and less starchy.  Add red pepper, herbs, lime juice and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.  

 

Roasted Accordion Potatoes

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I love a three day weekend and did a bunch of cooking and have lots for tasty (an healthy!) things to share in the next few days.  For now, here's a simple side to start your week off with.  

Accordion potatoes get there name from the cute little cuts you're going to make in them.  I think they look more like plump grubs but maybe forget I said that.  (I really wanted these to go with a spicy aioli but just couldn't get it right.)  Consider adding chopped rosemary, thyme or garlic to the recipe if you like.  

Roasted Accordion Potatoes

2 lbs small potatoes, washed and dried

heavy drizzle olive oil

s + p

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Thinly slice potatoes about three quarters of the way through.  Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to pan and bake 40 minutes until soft inside and crispy outside.