Monday, December 15, 2008

Recipe of the Day

So, my dear, lovely husband, whom I adore, volunteered me to make stuffing and green bean casserole for his work's holiday luncheon party that takes place tomorrow. Don't worry he didn't spring it on me at the last minute. I think I had a month or so advanced notice. Today when I got home from work at 5 p.m. I started cooking the very minute I walked in the door. Granted he did help me prep. His words were something like, "I'd feel like an a#*hole if I didn't help you." Ahhh, what a sweetie.

Anyway, I had only made stuffing once before and I wasn't crazy about how it turned out. So last Sunday I tested a cornbread stuffing recipe, but wasn't crazy about that one either. This weekend I searched on the Food Network website and found a Southern cornbread stuffing recipe by Paula Dean that sounded more to my husband's liking. I made my version of it. I just pulled it out of the oven and haven't tried yet, so I am hoping it is a winner, and if it is I'll post the recipe here at a later time.

As for the green bean casserole I opted out of making traditional green bean casserole, and instead made a green bean dish that I have made several times in the past for holiday gatherings, and it has always been a hit. It is a little fancier and more contemporary than the traditional casserole, but probably easier to make. I also saved myself some trouble and snagged a few scoops of it for my side dish tonight to accompany my dinner, the filet mignons mentioned in my previous post about the Land and Sea Market.

Green Beans with Carmelized Onions and Sliced Almonds
2 lbs green beans, ends trimmed and rinsed
1 yellow or sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 small package of sliced almonds (can be found in the baking aisle of your grocer)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

In a large nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat, melt the butter into the oil. Once the butter melts, add the onion and sautee until carmelized, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile in another shallow pan with tight-fitting lid, add a couple of inches of water. Bring to a boil. Season well with a few good pinches of the salt. Add the green beans and put on the lid. Let steam for about 3-5minutes. They should be bright green and still have some crunch. Drain the green beans and shock them by running cold water on them. This allows the beans to maintain that great bright color. Once the onions are carmelized, add the almonds to the pan and let brown for just a minute. Then add the green beans and sautee to coat them in the oil and allow for the onions and almonds to distribute. Season well with pepper and a little more salt.

Another great addition to this would be sauteed mushrooms. Just add sliced mushrooms a few minutes after the onions. You may need to add a little more butter and oil.

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