May 10, 2013

Green Beans with Almonds

This is one of those sidedishes you don't really use a recipe for, but just throw together when you need something quick and easy to go with the meal.  The other night we had crab stuffed salmon and I love green beans, broccoli or peas when we have seafood.  The thought of caramelized butter with fresh garlic and green beans just sounded perfect so that is what we had.

Like most foods of this sort I will tell you to "play with your food".   It doesn't matter if you want to use whole almonds, sliced almonds or blanched almonds.  Use what you have on hand.  Also, the amount of salt and pepper and the amount of garlic you use is completely up to you.  A little bit of garlic for those that aren't sure and a lot of yummy garlic for those of that are!

Green Beans with Almonds

Green beans, fresh or frozen
Olive Oil
Butter, real
Garlic, fresh peeled and minced or in a jar
salt and pepper
optional: a dash of brown sugar or brown sugar substitute

In a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat, place your green beans with a bit of water.  Cover and steam or simmer until just tender and still bright in color.  Drain if there is any extra water.  Add a bit of olive oil and a pat of butter to the pan and stir fry style the beans.  Add your garlic.  Start with a small amount if you aren't a big garlic lover; perhaps 1/2 teaspoon or 1 small clove.  This will give barely a hint of garlic flavor to about 2-3 cups of fresh beans.  I would suggest about 2 or 3 teaspoons.  If you wish, add a dash or sprinkle of brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper.  The brown sugar will give it a caramelized hint in flavor and is delicious but not necessary.  Keeping the heat at about medium, stir every minute or so until the beans start to show a little golden brown.  Do not over cook or your beans will be whimpy and your garlic can turn bitter if burned.  Now you can toss in the almonds as is - or - remove the green beans to a serving dish.  Add the almonds to the pan and toast them over medium heat until just starting to turn golden and then serve over the beans.   Serve hot.

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