Green beans

Green Beans With Crispy Pancetta

By Susie Middleton   |   Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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butternut squash stew

Everyone knows the onion-topped green bean casserole that’s a Thanksgiving mainstay, but this recipe for Green Beans with Crispy Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Shallots is a bit more elegant and a lot more flavorful.

Serves: 8

Tip: The beans can be boiled and refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead


Kosher salt
1-1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
2-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (five or six 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick slices)
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large, and very thinly sliced
2 medium-large shallots, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. Fill a 6- or 7-quart pot two-thirds full of well-salted water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the beans uncovered until tender to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, transfer to the bowl of ice water, and let sit until cooled, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Put the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and coarsely crumble. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until both are nicely browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Stir to combine.

Return the pan to medium heat, add the green beans and toss to combine and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with the pancetta.

Nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): 1.5; Protein (g): 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 410; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 3;

susie middleton

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Spicy Red Eye Baked Beans

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, February 24, 2012
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spicy red beans

The addition of the coffee, for which the recipe is named, deepens the other flavors in the beans.

Serves eight to ten.

Yields about 2 quarts.


1 lb. dried pinto beans
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups lower-salt beef broth
1 meaty smoked ham hock
1 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup mild molasses, such as Grandma's Original.
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 Tbs. bourbon (optional)
Kosher salt


Don't have time to soak the beans overnight? Put them in a 4-quart saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and soak for 2 hours. Drain the beans and continue with the recipe.


Sort through the beans to make sure there are no little stones and then put them in a large bowl or pot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches and let soak overnight. Drain the beans well, tilting the colander instead of shaking it to gently extract the water and protect the beans' skins.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.

Melt the butter in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the chile powders, cumin, allspice, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and ham hock. Stir to combine. Add the beans and bring just to a simmer. Cover and bake until the beans are easy to bite into but still a little mealy in texture, 45 to 60 minutes.

Stir in the coffee, molasses, ketchup, Worcestershire, and oregano. Bake, uncovered, until the beans are fully tender, 30 to 60 minutes more. Cool to room temperature. Discard the oregano stems and the skin from the ham hock. Cut the meat off the bone and chop. Add the meat to the beans and discard the bone. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To finish, bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of thin gravy, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn, 40 to 60 minutes. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and season the beans to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 26; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 41; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 350; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 10;

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day main dish?

Sunday, November 13, 2011
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Bored with Beans?
By Lidia Bastianich

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
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green beans with gorgonzola

Getting bored with your green beans? Add some creamy Gorgonzola cheese to add a gorgeous complexity.

Let's face it, green beans are delicious, but they can get boring. So let's give them some new life by melting a little Gorgonzola into the beans for a spicy appetizer or a side dish that goes perfectly with grilled or sauteed meats.

Green beans
1/4 cup olive oil
Gorgonzola cheese
Kosher salt

First, simply rinse and dry the beans and trim off both ends.

Set a large skillet over medium heat.

Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and toss in 5-6 mashed garlic cloves.

Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly colored.

Add the beans to the skillet, shake a few times, pour in a 1/4 cup of water and cover.

Lower the heat, cook for 15 minutes until the beans are tender to the bite and lightly caramelized.

When they are done, salt lightly.

Raise the heat and drop bits of crumbled Gorgonzola into the beans and cook with no cover until the cheese melts. It will take just over a minute.

When the cheese has melted and coated the beans, but before it coats the bottom of the pan, remove beans and cheese fromthe pan and place on a plate and serve immediately.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue


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