Chef Spills The Beans on Thanksgiving Side Dish

This easy recipe from Chef Ben will wow guests on turkey day.

For most of us, Thanksgiving means all the traditional fixings: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, etc.

But local chef Ben Peterson has a green bean recipe that might make you stray away from the usual creamy, French's crunchy onion-topped casserole and say hello to gourmet-beans-made-easy.

"Everything I make is easy," Peterson told to a wary Ramona Patch editor.

Peterson will serve these green beans at the Thanksgiving Buffet at San Vicente Resort's Par Lounge on Nov. 22, but he divulged in his recipe just for Patch readers.

The secret to this recipe? Adding the bacon at the end and breaking down the onions.

"You want the onions to fall apart, because they kind of just wrap themselves between the green beans," Peterson said. "Add the bacon at the end, or else it won't stay crispy."

So shy away from the 70's green bean casserole and update your Thanksgiving side dish with this local recipe.

Green Beans with Bacon-Onion Jam

Serves 4

The Ingredients

  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 1 ounch (or a splash) of apple vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
  • 1-2 thick cut strips of bacon, cut into lardons (or cubes)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

The How-To

  1. In a large pan, crisp bacon lardon for about 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly until crisp.
  2. Remove the lardons and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Add the onions to the bacon fat and season with sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir until brown and gelatinous.
  4. Add the green beans and stir to incorporate onions. Cook for another 5 minutes until green beans are softened and heated through.
  5. Add back in the lardons and serve.

Chef's Hints:

Chef Ben says it's ok to use frozen green beans, just make sure of two things:

  • They're "IQF" or "individually quick frozen."

"They're the next best thing to fresh," Peterson said. "Even when we order shrimp, we don't have locally-sourced shrimp, so IQF is the next best thing to get."

  • They're completely thawed out

"It's fine to use frozen, but make sure they're thawed."

Jolinda November 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Ben, I love your recipes...but missed where to use the apple cider vinegar in this recipe. Also would like to offer this similar recipe: Thanksgiving Green Beans (from Chef Marc Vogel’s “The Perfect Holiday Meal” book - $2.95 at http://www.chefmarc.com/) 5 thick sliced bacon strips cut length-wise and chopped in ½ inch pieces 16 oz. French haricots vert (green beans) 2 Tlbs. unsalted butter 3 cloves of shallots, minced ¼ C dry white wine salt and freshly ground pepper 1. In large skillet cook bacon, over medium heat, until crisp, turning occasionally. 2. Discard all but 2 Tlbs. of the fat, add green beans, butter and shallots. 3. Preheat serving bowl with hot water. 4. Stir fry green beans for 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer to heated bowl and cover. 5. Deglaze pan with white wine, boil and reduce down a bit to thicken the sauce, and then pour over the beans, tossing with salt and pepper to taste.
Melissa Phy November 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Oops! That was the editor's fault. I'll correct the recipe. You add in the vinegar when you cook down the onions on the bacon fat and sugar. Thanks for letting me know, Jolinda. P.S. love the recipe you added, mainly because I think shallots are totally underused in the kitchen! Best, Melissa


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