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Appetizers & Sides, Entertaining, Food, Holidays, Vegetarian

Cooking With the Non-Cook: Green Beans

This article’s publication will come after St. Patrick’s Day. However, I wanted to go past my usual St. Patrick’s Day routine of beer and hockey to make some green beans. Green is right in the name. How can you go wrong? That’s another reason I picked this dish; it’s very hard to mess up.

Last week’s article on mashed potatoes was a nice simple side dish, and this is no different. This recipe allows for a little more flair than the previous week, but it still keeps things simple. I have to walk before I run as my fiancé likes to remind me when I’m cooking. I may see myself as the next Bobby Flay, but in reality, I have a lot of work to do.

Getting fresh green beans from your local supermarket produce section is much better than canned green beans. Captain Obvious says ‘fresh is better.’ Canned green beans have a particular taste, and you can try to doctor them to your liking. They may end up passable, but they will always have that out-of-the-can taste.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups of Green Beans
  2. 3-4 small (or 1-2 regular Idaho) Red Potatoes
  3. Onion (dehydrated or fresh)
  4. 1/2 to 1 cup Bacon/Ham (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut (or snap) the end of your green beans. Personally, the snap method is much more gratifying. Completely up to your preference.
  2. Wash the cut pieces and put them in a stock or crock pot. Crock Pot provides a better flavor, but if you need them cooked faster a pot on the stove will also work.
  3. Add your potatoes next. IF you use the red potatoes, you won’t have to peel them. Then you will want to cut the potatoes into 1” by 1” cubes. Or just cut them in half, then cut those halves in half. Keep doing this until they are the size you desire.
  4. Add onion. You can mince fresh or use one to two tablespoons of dehydrated. The fresh are preferred, but both are reliable options and will give you similar results. You can cut them while watching This is Us, so you can blame the onions when you cry your eyes out.

Finishing Touches:

A great final touch can be to add some bacon or leftover ham. This may be a lot to do if you don’t already have some cooked up. Bacon bits that you sprinkle on your salad can also be a nice spruce up. Of course, for a vegetarian option, the meat can be skipped.

Bouillon cubes are also an option for cooks in a hurry. The crock pot will allow you to cook the ingredients low and slow all day. If you use the stove, just make sure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, which can be checked by simply poking the potatoes with a fork. If the fork goes in easily, they are ready to go.

We have two sides completed, and now, I’m getting close to a full meal. Next week, we will handle the main course.

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