Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green Beans with Sautéed Shallots and Vermouth

Serves 4 to 6 
1 teaspoon sea salt of your choice
1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off
Bring 2 ½ quarts water to a boil in a large sauce pan over high heat; add sea salt and green beans, return to boil and cook until beans are bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill large bowl with ice water.  Drain beans in colander and transfer immediately to ice water.  When beans no longer feel warm to touch, drain in colander again and dry thoroughly with paper towels.  Transfer beans to gallon-sized zipper-lock bag, seal and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.
(To blanch, dress and serve the beans without holding them first in the refrigerator, increase the blanching time to 5 to 6 minutes and don’t bother shocking them in ice water.  Instead, quickly arrange the warm beans on a serving platter and top with the sauce you’ve prepared as the beans blanch.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (4TBS total)
4 large shallots, sliced thin (about 2 cups)
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium heat until foaming; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown, fragrant and just crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes.  Set skillet aside.
Heat ¼ cup water and beans in 12-inch skillet over high heat; cook, tossing frequently, until beans are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with sea salt and pepper to-taste and arrange neatly on warm serving platter.
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt  (Recommendations:  Fumee’ de Sel, Murray River or Garlic seasalt)           
Freshly ground pepper to-taste
Meanwhile, return skillet with shallots to high heat, stir in vermouth, and bring to simmer.  Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time; season with sea salt and pepper to-taste.  Top beans with shallots. 

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