Recipes, Sides

Buttered Green Beans with Almond Slivers

Green Beans with Slivered AlmondsYou know what I absolutely love about having a food blog amongst a sea of talented foodies online and offline? Sharing recipes!  It excites me to see how many different variations one main ingredient can take on by the talents and experimentations of others.  Green beans, for example, are simple, easy, and quick to cook up.  Would you believe me if I told you that I learned how to cook green beans from three different sources before I really understood how to cook them well?

It’s true!

Whenever I made them I either overcooked them or undercooked them, and never added anything more than salt.  Can you imagine that?  It’s no wonder we hardly ate them.  It wasn’t until I watched my Step-Mother-In-Law prepping them to put into her soup one day when we were living with my in-laws back in 2007.  I learned a few other things from her and actually started liking Filipino food because of her.  I often sat in the kitchen watching her prep and cook with joy, always with a smile and giving everything in her fridge a purpose.  She would tell me stories about when she lived in the Philippines, and include some money saving tips here and there.

One day I watched her sitting outside on her deck, green beans in one hand and kitchen scissors in the other, snipping away at each green bean that she held in her hand.  It seemed therapeutic to me because she took her time and went through about half a produce bag as if she were enjoying a glass of wine on a cool and calm springtime evening.  She would finish by rinsing them off and adding them as one of the final ingredients to her homemade soup.  For me, these were the best times while living with my in-laws.

My other two “Teachers” were a cookbook and a good friend of mine who happens to claim she isn’t a good cook.  She’s always so modest, I love that she is my friend.  I don’t even think she knows she taught ME something new.  Ever since then I’ve been using her method and now I will share it with you.

The only special equipment you’ll need for these green beans, aside from your hands and a large pot, are kitchen scissors and a large strainer.Wanna hear a confession?  When I look at my strainer in pictures, I think it looks hideous.  Then I remember that I have had that strainer since my husband and I moved in together back in ’98.

That’s when I realize I can’t bear to replace it with anything else.  Now I feel bad for saying it looks hideous.  Anyway, moving on. Take a handful of green beans and line up the tops evenly.

Cut just the tips off to remove the stems.

Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Then cut them in half at the midpoint if you would like to have them shorter.  You don’t have to.  I like to cut them in half one by one as I put them into the strainer to try and have them all the same size. That way they’re easier to fit into a smaller pot and smaller plates.

Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Give the cut beans a good rinse under cold water.

Add them to a large pot of boiling water.

Bring back to a boil and continue cooking about another 5 minutes.  You can also test them to see if they have reached the right texture that you want by taking one out and doing the snap test.  If you like them crunchy, you should still hear a slight snap when you break it in half, if you like them softer, cook them a little longer.   Try this test after about three minutes (after the water has come back to a boil) and gauge it from there as to how “cooked” you want them.

Once done, immediately strain and rinse in cold water.  You can also dunk them in a large bowl filled with ice and water.  This step helps to stop the cooking process to prevent them from getting soggy.

Return the pot to the burner now and add about 1/3 cup of almond slivers.

Toast them on medium-high heat until they start to turn a light golden brown color.  Your house will start to smell good, too! Take them out and set them aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons if you’re not counting calories at the moment. I prefer to add 2 in case you were wondering.

Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Melt the butter completely and let it get a little toasty.  You will notice a change in the color pretty fast so watch it.  Butter CAN burn quickly.Turn off the burner and move the pot to a cool burner or trivet.  Add all the green beans to the butter with a pinch of salt to taste.

Give it all a really good stir to coat all the beans with the butter and salt.

The last step is to add the almonds. Stir them in gently so you don’t break too many of them.
They are delicate pieces of nutty goodness.

Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Finally, serve it up and enjoy! I swear eating these babies is like eating popcorn.  They can be addicting.  If you’re into green beans that is.  We obviously are.