Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Revisting the Recipes, Thanksgiving 2008

When it comes to the number one food holiday, I have to admit that I'm always a little torn between doing the usual array of comfort food stand-bys or going completely out on a limb and redefining the meal. Yet almost without exception, I end up sticking to a mostly normal menu because I just can't imagine a Thanskgiving without those traditional elements and I get panicky when I start to think it could be an entire year before I get another chance to enjoy them. But I do like to throw in a twist or two. Think traditional ingredients and flavors with spunk.

One of my favorite sides from this years' meal was good old green beans. No, not green bean casserole (gack), but Spicy Stir Fried Green Beans with Bacon, a recipe I threw together based on an addictive dish I love that's served at one of our local pubs. It's quick and easy and can be done mostly ahead, perfect for a busy holiday cook.

The very un-fussy cast of characters:

Tail and tip a pound of fresh green beans. Chop 1/2 lb. of good bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from pan, drain, and set aside. Pour off all but a bit of the grease from the pan and add the beans and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Saute briefly until bright green, then dump in about 1/2c. of bottled oyster sauce and continue to cook, tossing over high heat until beans are blistered and al dente and well coated with sauce, adding reserved bacon back to the pan for the last minute or two. Remove to serving plate and garnish with sliced scallion and sesame seeds:

You can make these as spicy as you like. In my case, that's fairly spicy so I used about 1 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes for a pound of beans. The pile you see above was about half a batch, and I had no problem eating them all myself as tonights dinner entree. As I said, they're addictive, and great hot or at room temperature. If you're working in advance, prep the beans and scallions and saute the bacon and then stash everything in the fridge in separate containers until you're ready to cook.
The restaurant that inspired the recipe offers them as an appetizer but I did them as a side dish and our Thanksgiving guests loved them.


OH.MY.GOODNESS. I want an entire plateful of these RIGHT NOW. *drool*
I make a similar dish--Szechuan Green Beans--and I have to disconnect the smoke detector first.
I am definitely going to try this bacon version because we all know bacon makes everything better!
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