Fresh string beans seasoned with bacon and garlic – can you think of a better way to eat your veggies? I can’t. The secret is to not overcook the string beans. If you cross over into that zone, the twilight zone of overcooked string beans, then you’ll have cooked-to-death green beans, which is a whole different recipe!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve accidentally crossed into that twilight zone when cooking fresh string beans. It is easy to do because you need to boil your green beans for a few minutes to soften them slightly in order to decrease the overall cooking time. And, when boiling anything, we have a tendency to walk away from the stove to do other things, like finish the rest of dinner or set the table. So, my advice to you so that you don’t ruin your selectively purchased fresh green beans? Set a timer!
The boiling process is really more like blanching in a way; only I don’t plunge them in ice water after boiling them, but rather dry them on a clean kitchen towel. I do this step because I don’t want my string beans cold when they hit the frying pan. Ice cold string beans will only increase the overall cooking time, ultimately defeating the purpose of this quick side dish.
I have a confession to make – I use more bacon grease than this recipe calls for! I saute my green beans in a puddle, yes puddle, of bacon grease. I know, I know – that’s soooo unhealthy! But, here’s my rationalization: we don’t eat green beans with bacon more than once a month. At most. I swear.
Here’s another confession: I save bacon grease. In the refrigerator. I hoard it like a squirrel with nuts expanding his cute little cheeks! Anytime I make bacon in a frying pan, if I’m not using the grease right then and there, I pour it into a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator. Next to the mayo. As backup. Just in case.
So, feel free to add more bacon grease to this recipe, if you dare.Fresh string beans sauteed in a puddle of bacon grease with slivers of garlic make a decadent side dish to accompany any main dish. #stringbeans Click To Tweet
Here’s the recipe for Bacon-Lovers’ Garlic-Kissed Fresh String Beans:
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces (I use thick-sliced bacon)
- 24 ounces fresh string beans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- In a large skillet, fry bacon pieces over medium heat on the stovetop until crisp.
- Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Discard all but 2 tablespoons (or keep more, if desired) bacon grease in the skillet and set aside.
- In the meantime, wash and trim green beans, breaking long strings in half.
- Bring water to boil in 8-quart (or larger) stock-pot fitted with a steamer/strainer basket and add salt.
- Add beans to boiling water; boil about 5 minutes until tender-crisp (do not overcook).
- Remove beans from heat, drain and spread on a clean kitchen towel to absorb water.
- Heat bacon grease in skillet; add sliced garlic and saute until slightly brown around the edges.
- Add towel-dried green beans and saute until heated through.
- Add bacon pieces and saute a few minutes more.
- Taste and add more salt, if desired.
Kitchen Essentials Needed:
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Main Dish Recipes from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s Archives:
(to accompany Bacon Lovers’ Garlic-Kissed Fresh String Beans)
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