Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Green Bean Cuisine
I had often noticed bunches of very long green beans in the Asian produce section of our supermarket. What does a hungry person do with beans that would hang off the average plate? Could these lanky characters be tamed? Page 86 has given me an answer. I made "Spicy Dry-Cooked Long Beans" on Sunday and Jack and I liked the results.
Long beans, also known as yard-long beans, and snake beans differ from string beans in length and crunchiness-I do love crunchiness. It took some time to cut one pound of beans down to four inch sections. Once I warmed them up (in my new stir-fry pan), mixed them in with some seasoned ground pork, and poured a seven-ingredient sauce* over the whole thing, the smell was worth it. The familiar scent of ginger, garlic, and green onion was a sign of things to come. It's hard to decide what I liked discovering better, the crunchiness of the beans, or the sweet and salty sauce. There was a new-to-me ingredient that I found a little amusing. It was the last listed: Sichuan preserved vegetable. The cookbook gives a "see note" to further explain. In this case, see link. Did I really scour the supermarket shelves for a can labeled "Preserved Vegetable"? Yes I did. And I was glad to find it without having to ask.
Jack loved the pork and wanted more - the bean to meat ratio seemed off to him. This is a side dish but I have been toying with the idea of decreasing the beans and adding more meat and possibly tofu. That will have to wait until I have tackled the rest of the recipes of my project. I have about 38 other priorities right now.
*Chicken broth, black vinegar, dark soy sauce, tomato sauce, Sriracha chili sauce, cornstarch, sugar.