Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Dinner of Luxury! (Part 2)

So yesterday I told you about my super yummy Chicken with Morel Mushroom dish that I made for Mother's Day. I knew the main dish would rock, but I needed to get some decent side dishes as well.

I love rice. It's one of my favorite foods and I think it goes well with just about everything. It's especially good with the chicken dish I made since it sops up all the delicious sauce. Instead of boring old white or brown rice, I found an interesting medley of rice, barley, and spelt from Trader Joe's. It cooked up fast and was very good. It provided more interest and better texture than rice alone. Trader Joe's tends to have items one day and not the next, so the next time you go, be on the lookout for this mix--or other tempting and unique sides!

For the Mother's Day dinner I knew I wanted to make green beans, but I didn't want to just boil or steam them--I wanted to step it up a bit. I did a quick search online and found the recipe below. I was very pleased how the beans turned out. They tasted fresh and very, very good. Try this the next time you have a bunch of green beans on your hands--this comes from Cooks Illustrated, one of my favorite places to get recipes:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off, beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  1. Combine butter, garlic, and thyme in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green and still crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high, and cook until water evaporates, 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Add butter mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beans are crisp-tender, lightly browned, and beginning to wrinkle, 1 to 3 minutes longer.
  4. Transfer beans to serving bowl, toss with lemon juice and parsley; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
  • I didn't have any fresh thyme in my kitchen, so I used a few pinches of dried thyme instead.
  • If you like the beans more cooked (less al dente), add a tablespoon of water and increase the cooking time with the lid on a minute or two.
  • I forgot to add the parsley at the end, but it didn't really seem to matter.
  • You could play with the herbs in this recipe to suit your preferences.

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