Monday, March 23, 2009

Slow-Cooked Green Beans

Work last week left me no time to cook; now, thanks to the joys that are comp days, I can get back into it at a nice, leisurely pace. This Bittman recipe (which appears in both version of How to Cook Everything) seems a perfect way to use up many of the vegetables that are turning dubious; as a bonus, the long, mostly-uninterrupted cooking time (they're still simmering as I type this) allows ample opportunity to clean, do laundry and get one's heinie handed to oneself in MLB 2K9. The original recipe is below; my alterations are in italics.
  • 1-1/2 lb. green beans (12 oz., because that's how much I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (1/8 cup)
  • 1 cup minced onion (scant 1-1/2 cups, since that's how many at-risk-of-spoiling ones I had)
  • 3/4 head garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled (see note below)
  • 1 cup cored, peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (1 cup chopped, mix of canned and at-risk fresh grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup water (1/3 cup)
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly-squeezed lemon juice to taste (started with about 1 tbsp.)
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat for at least 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes and adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary. Longer cooking, for up to 1 more hour, won't hurt (I can testify to the truth of this - mine cooked for just under 2 hours).

When the beans are very tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, they're ready. Correct seasoning and remove from heat.

Serve or at room temperature, sprinkled with a little more oil and a few more drops of lemon juice.

NOTE: This turned out well, though some of the stewed garlic cloves slipped out of their skin and left hard-to-fish-out husks. Maybe next time I'll peel the garlic and let it diffuse into the dish if it wants to.

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