Thursday, January 12, 2012

4 New Ways to Eat Frozen Green Beans

by Maggie Montgomery
Eating locally—even about 75% locally, as we do now—means that in winter we eat a lot of frozen garden veggies. This week, my husband Dennis came upstairs after a trip to the basement freezer and said, “You know, there are a LOT of beans down there.”

I felt a little guilty. Growing green beans is mostly a “snap,” even in northern Minnesota. I plant several kinds every summer—Italian beans, Tendergreen, Contender, Jade, Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder and more. There are big, flat beans, yellow wax beans, bush beans and pole beans. Different varieties mature at different times, and I plant rows of the same variety weeks apart to assure an unending supply until frost. Dennis thinks it’s overkill, but I insist, saying “They are all different.”

It’s a pleasure to eat fresh beans in the summer. I also pickle some of the choice, young ones as dilly beans, and some years I put up a couple loads in the pressure canner. But we most often freeze the surplus because it’s easy.

When it’s time to eat the frozen beans, I cook them one way: steam them in salted water and serve them with butter on top. “There you go, Dennis,” I say, “Beans.”

On this Wednesday’s Morning Show on KAXE, I asked for some help with our frozen bean supply, and listeners sympathetically responded with some suggestions. I’m posting the recipes here in case you have plenty of beans too!

Ken and Pam from Brainerd suggested a green bean shepherd’s pie: “We are just finishing up a really nice bean dish that Pam prepared recently. It is basically a Sheppard’s Pie with adzuki beans used instead of meat and a layer of green beans between the adzuki beans and the mashed potatoes. We thought it would be a very nice veggie start to the New Year. And a great way to use green beans!”

Robert from Bemidji said: “Stir fry some beans in about 2 tablespoons of any type of oil that can hold up to high heat, and mix that with about 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, until they are as tender as you like. Drizzle with Tamari soy sauce, then put the lid on for a few minutes. It’s simple and delicious!”

Julie from Cook suggested a cold or lukewarm green bean salad: Steam some beans. Cool them in water. Add crumbled feta, chopped red onion, chopped fresh (or frozen) dill, and your favorite Italian dressing.

Ross emailed an Indian recipe: Bihari Green Beans Marsala, from Julie Sahni:

2 T oil
2 T sliced almonds
½ c. finely chopped onion
3 large  cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1 t sweet paprika
½ t red chili pepper flakes
¾ t kosher salt
¾ cup coconut milk
¾ # green beans in 1” pieces
1 t lime juice
2 T chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook almonds, stirring, until golden. Remove the almonds from the oil and set aside.
2. Add onion, garlic and spices to the saute pan and return to heat. Saute until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes
3. Add coconut milk and beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes
4. Sprinkle beans with lime juice and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. Can be serve with rice or roti flatbread if desired.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is, after all, Minnesota and you neglected this classic from the Campbell's web site:

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups cooked cut green beans
2 2/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-quart casserole.
Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.


For the green beans, you can use 2 bags (16 to 20 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 4 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 4 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans, drained or about 3 pounds fresh green beans.

For extra crunch, add 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds to the onion topping.

For bacon lovers, add 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture.

For a festive touch, add 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with the soup.

For cheese lovers, stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with the soup. Omit the soy sauce. Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.

For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell's® Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit the soy sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.