Thursday Night: Bargains at the shuk. I ran to Google to find a recipe for the yellow string beans that I bought at the shuk. They were perched high on a narrow stall shelf, one of two remaining plastic basins. The owner of the stall had nothing superlative to remark about the partner basin of green beans either.
It was was not the case of the “Big oven and the Small Challah”. No boasting.
My plastic basin from home was perched on the top of my wagon, on the occasion that a kind stall owner would split a large basin. It was a little chutzpadick of me because the beans were going for half the price. He wanted to get rid of the beans and I really wanted half green/half yellow for my Shabbat evening meal. Several years back I had been disappointed with string bean purchased and since then have been off the pole huggers. The beans had been tough like shoelaces.
My friendly greengrocer was not into splitting the basins and I didn’t want to risk acquiring 2 kilos of poor quality produce. I bought the yellow ones. Now I regret not getting All the basins.
My strategy: Give the kilo of beans it’s due and prepare macrobiotically. If they tun out tasteless and tough, switch to the Lebanese Green Bean recipe.
Green Beans prepared Macrobiotically
1. As early as possible, inspect beans for stray dirt and pass through bowl filled with cold water.
2.Cut off deteriorated sections. This can be done a day ahead or as soon as you get hone from the market. When I felt so many pods inside I feared that they were old and tough.
3. As close to preparation time, trim off the ends. These beans do not have a tough edge to remove. They are different from the American varieties. Put up at pot of water and do not put in more than an amount that will fill 1/3 of the pot and enough boiling to just cover the beans. Into that boiling water I threw some slivers of ginger and sprinkle of salt..
4. Working in batches to complete a kilo, I threw the beans into the water bath, stirred and after a minute poured cold water over and drained the pot. Then removed the beans to a glass serving bowl.Squeezed lemon and sprinkled olive oil over them, mushed then around, covered with plastic wrap and left outside on the counter and did all three batches the same way. The were lovely, all puffed up. Tasted crisp, yet soft.
I served this dish last night and the remaining ones taste very well cold 24 hours later. Honestly have eaten bean beans prepared with tomato. Prefer the macrobiotic way.
LEBANESE GREEN BEANS
- 1½ lbs green beans, topped and tailed, left whole
- 2 – 3 large onions, halved and then sliced
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ C good olive oil (extra virgin if you have it)
- 16 oz can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp allspice
- Saute the onion in olive oil on medium heat until softened and translucent.
- Add green beans, saute until they get a bit of color and onion turns golden.
- Add garlic, saute another minute, then add tomatoes, salt, black pepper and allspice.
- Cover tightly and simmer until the string beans are cooked to your liking, but definitely on the soft side, at least 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you like them really soft).
A new twist on Hannuka’s potato latkehs: The kids look forward to the same latkehs year after year, but adults sometimes want something a little different. Surfing the Net for an alternative recipe, this recipe from The New York Times caught my eye. It’s as easy to make as the traditional recipe, but it’s just different enough to make those traditional potato fritters interesting again.
Apple-Potato Latkes With Cinnamon Sour Cream
6 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or silan date syrup
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored
1 large russet potato, peeled
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs or flax seed meal
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil, for frying
Method to making these latkes
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt, cinnamon and syrup. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Coarsely grate the apples, potato and onion. Put the mixture in a clean dish towel and squeeze to wring out as much liquid as possible. For the crispiest pancakes, you want the least moisture.
Working quickly, put the mixture in a large bowl, add the flour, eggs, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, pour in about 1/4 inch of oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the pan, cooking 3 to 4 latkes at a time. Use a spatula to flatten the scoops into disks.
When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes, flip them. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the latkes to a plate lined with paper towel sheets to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with dollops of the cinnamon sour cream on top.
Yield: about 1 1/2 dozen latkes. Enjoy!
More recipes for the Festival of Lights from Green Prophet:
Yiddish Expression (Chaim Werdeyger), Lebanese green beans Vs. Macrobiotic preparation and Apple-Potato Latkes