When I was growing up, Thanksgiving dinner always included green beans. I loved the way my mom cooked them—to death—covered in water with a slice of smokey bacon until they were "done". She still likes them cooked this way but I have grown to love the vivid green color on the plate and a crisp al dente snap instead of the unappetizing grayish-green color of overdone, mushy beans. Now, I first par them in boiling water for just a few minutes and then shock them in ice water so they retain their beautiful, bright color. After that, all you have to do is melt the prepared butter in a skillet, throw the beans in until they're warmed through, and voila—a green bean dish that manages to be easy, memorable, and delicious.
Green Beans + Toasted Pecan, Bacon, Garlic Butter
1 stick unsalted butter
2 lbs fresh green beans, stem end removed
1/4 c pecans
4 pieces bacon (I use Dailey's brand )
1 medium clove garlic
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
Pull the butter out of the fridge and allow to soften on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour. In the meantime, par the green beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just tender to the bite. Immediately drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to shock them so they will retain their color, drain after they are cooled completely. Set aside or put in a baggie with a paper towel until the next day (bring to room temp before reheating).
Toast the pecans in a 35o degree oven for 15 minutes, cool then chop finely. Chop the bacon into a small dice and fry until crispy, drain on paper toweling. Finely chop the garlic.
Mash the butter with a fork in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients except the beans. You can refrigerate ahead at this point for a day or two.
When ready to serve warm the butter in a wide pan, add the green beans and toss to heat through. Serves 8.
Voted Best Caterer for Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties 2016