Thursday, November 20, 2008

Green Beans with Garam Masala, Garlic and Slivered Almonds

If you read my last post, you may be wondering just what a person would do with such a large quantity of garam masala. Well I don't have a definitive answer to that question, but I can tell you about a delicious way to use a couple pinches. It does not involve mac & cheese! But I couldn't help but post my photo of the mac & cheese I made the other night to enjoy w/ my wonderful friends. It's the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I love Cooks Illustrated because their recipes are tested exhaustively, tried and true. You follow the directions, and you get the results. You have to be a member in order to access their recipe, or, you could do like I did and buy one of their cookbooks.

But see, the thing about mac & cheese is that there's no getting around the fact that it's a high fat, high carb food. Delicious, yes. Fattening beyond belief, yes. And definitely, it's a dish that I like to make some sort of attempt to balance out by serving it with not only a big green salad, but also, a side dish of some other green vegetable. That's where the green beans come in. And the garam masala. And while we're at it, a little ghee if you've got it, and some garlic and slivered almonds. Alright, truth be told, if we were counting calories, we'd be eating steamed broccoli, but hell, where is the fun in that? We didn't come here to count calories!

Green Beans with Garam Masala, Garlic and Slivered Almonds
(click here for printable recipe)

1. Clean and trim a whole bunch of green beans. I used a little over 2 pounds to feed 7 people. Set the beans aside.
2. Mince several cloves of garlic and set aside.
3. In a large, heavy skillet (like, say... Adam's orange Le Creuset!), either melt a big plop of ghee or a big splash of olive oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add the green beans to the pan and cook over medium to high heat for about 10 minutes or until they start to become tender.
5. Keep the heat high and add 2 or 3 cloves minced garlic and the almonds - about 1/2 to 3/4 cup - and keep stirring till everything is nice and golden brown. The trick is to stir it enough so that the garlic doesn't burn, but not so much that the green beans won't brown. I can't claim to be an expert on how to achieve this, cause it seems like every time I make this dish, I arrive at my results in a different way. Isn't that extremely helpful?
6. Once the beans are more or less done, which means nearly tender but still a little crunchy, and somewhat golden brown, turn off the heat.
7. Sprinkle with kosher salt and several pinches of garam masala. Toss it well and serve it up with your mac & cheese, and enjoy in the company of fine friends and fabulous four-legged creatures who would never dream of begging!


Adam said...

On behalf of those "wonderful friends"...if you're going to indulge in fat and carbs, there is no better vehicle for that indulgence than mac and cheese with Val at the wheel. Everything about this meal was perfect! It didn't even feel like the death-by-cheese that it probably was fluffy, tender, and totally integrated into one tasty, textury joy-sserole. And the greens were the perfect touch. Yay Val!

Soup and Song said...

Aw, thanks, Adam! So glad you enjoyed. Joy-sserole....I like the sound of that! I think I had a bit of a mac & cheese hangover the next day, but then again, maybe the wine had something to do with that ;)