Skillet Green Beans with Bacon and Mustard

I made these as a side to go with roast pork loin and potato gratin a couple of weeks back. They’d probably go pretty well with the ubiqutous turkey and mashed ‘taters of American Thanksgiving.

Skillet Green Beans with Bacon and Mustard
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 2.5 lbs. green beans, stemed and cut into 1.5″ pieces
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add cold bacon to a large skillet. Place over medium heat and cook until the fat is fully rendered. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with a couple of sheets of paper towels; set aside. Transfer the bacon fat into a small bowl, returning 1 tablespoon of fat to the skillet. Try not to snack on the bacon too much.
  2. Return the skillet to the burner, return to medium heat and add the green beans. Cook green beans, tossing periodically, for 5 minutes. Add shallot and 1/3 cups water and cover. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. While the green beans cook combine the mustard and vinegar together and mix until combined.
  4. Remove cover and allow the water to evaporate, about 1 minute. Add the mustard/vinegar mixture. Toss until green beans are coated. Add the bacon pieces and combine. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Notes:
Method copied from Cook’s Illustrated.

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Saturday night – 11/21/2015

This week I had a vague idea of what I wanted to make however I didn’t have time to create a grocery list. I ended up wandering around the meat section like a lost soul for 10 minutes staring at the various cuts of poultry. We tend to favor chicken dark meat over the white-meated breast; it has more flavor and is more forgiving of overcooking. Still the package of chicken breasts called to me and a small plan formed in my head.

Menu
Pan-seared chicken cutlets with onions and cider gravy
Orecchiette with Chickpeas
Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Herbed Quick Bread

Apple Pie with ice cream

Notes under the cut

Achiote Grilled Chicken Thighs

We were introduced to achiote via chef Daisy Martinez‘s cooking show, Daisy Cooks!. Achiote (also called annatto) seeds provide an earthy flavor. One of the more common ways to use them is to make a flavored oil that will impart a yellow-orange color to the dishes it is used in (think yellow rice).

Achiote Grilled Chicken Thighs
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 Tbsp. achiote (annatto) seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp. fine salt
  • 5 lemons, juiced
  • 4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions:

  1. Combine the annatto, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cloves and allspice berries in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
  2. In a blender jar combine the spice blend you just ground with all the other ingredients except the lemon and chicken. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice; pulse to combine. This is your marinade. Set aside.
  4. Trim the excess fat off of your chicken thighs. Transfer thighs to a large resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  5. About 45 minutes before you want to eat light your gas grill, setting all burners on high and close the lid. Allow to heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Scrape any residue from past grilling off the grill and lubricate with 4 or 5 passes of vegetable oil on a paper towel.
  7. Place chicken thighs on the grill, skin(less) side down. Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove when the internal temperature of a thigh is 160°F. An instant read thermometer is very helpful here.
  9. Serve as is or cut into pieces to use for chicken tacos.

Notes:
Throw out the marinade after putting the chicken on the grill. It’s tainted with raw chicken nastiness.

If the marinade is a bit grainy you can brush off the excess spice mix before grilling. We didn’t bother and it didn’t affect the results as best we can tell.

I found achiote (annatto) seeds in my grocery store in the baking aisle along with the other spices. We’ve also purchased them in the past from Penzeys.

I combined the ideas from a couple of online recipes to come up with this one. Check out this one or this one for inspiration.

Saturday night – 11/14/2015

At the start of the day I thought a larger group was joining us for dinner this week however twas not to be. We were able to adjust most things on the fly though and dinner came out well.

Menu
Roast Pork Loin
Homemade Applesauce
Potatoes Dauphinoise (close approximation here, Ted used the Bourdain recipe the author references).
Green Beans with Bacon and Mustard
Sourdough Bread (from Nashoba Brook Bakery)

Chocolate Cream Pie with optional mint chocolate chip ice cream

Notes under the cut

Saturday night – 11/07/2015

A week of unusual fall weather (mid-60s, even 70+ one day) lead me to think that some grilled chicken was in order. Went with something a little different and turned the grilled chicken thighs into taco meat. Many found the chicken tasty; I’m happy with the results.

Menu
Achiote Grilled Chicken Thigh Tacos
– with shredded lettuce, avocado, salsa and sour cream
Black Beans and Rice
Roasted Acorn Squash

Turkish Delight Squares

Notes under the cut