(Becky, the Mama.)
Greg is away this evening, having dinner with a friend. And therefore, I decided to make this dish that I created and love and that he considers, actually, to be the Side Dish From Hell.
His three least favorite foods are onions, peppers and green beans, so even the addition of a scrumptious sauce and bacon could not turn his head. It would turn his stomach, but not his head. Greg worked many summers as a kid in Oregon either picking green beans or in a bean cannery and he has vowed, and I respect this, never to eat another green bean again. Onions and peppers, according to him, have an “icky, slimy” texture and are also to be avoided.
So while Greg is gone, and won’t have to even look…I made my own Dream Dinner to Eat in Bed, while snuggled in my PJs. Tonight’s dream meal is made of this sweet and savory green bean dish, below, loaded with sautéed onions and sweet peppers, with a side of (I know, it’s bad, but try not to groan) boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese. Served with a spoon in a big flat pasta bowl. With a glass of ice cold milk in a frosty-frozen mug. And a cozy blankey tucked around my feet. While I watch non-action-related shows like Parenthood and Oprah’s Next Chapter, TV my husband enjoys about as much as green beans.
Of course, I miss my man, as I do adore him.
But in the meantime, I’m soldiering on the best I can, a bowl in one hand, remote in the other.
Sweet n’ Sour Green Beans with Bacon
2 cans or 4 cups frozen or fresh green beans, cooked and drained well
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. red onion, diced
½ c. chopped sweet red pepper (I used some mini red and yellow peppers)
3 T Thai sweet chili sauce (in the Asian aisle…or World Market)
2 T. brown sugar
¼ c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. crumbled bacon (I used some Hormel pre-cooked bacon pieces this time. Some nights you just take the easy way.)
*Vegans can use a vegetarian bacon bits product instead or use sliced almonds that have been sauteed in smoked paprika and a little olive oil instead.
Salt and Pepper to taste (I like a lot of black pepper in this)
Turn oven to broil
Drain green beans as well as you can. (I even use a paper towel to sort of pat them dry in the colander.)
In an oven-proof skillet saute onions and peppers in olive oil. Add the Thai sweet chili sauce, red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Cook and stir all together until it is syrupy.
Add well drained green beans and stir once again until well heated. Add salt and pepper to taste. (This will vary quite a bit depending on whether you used canned or fresh or frozen green beans.) Sprinkle the top with bacon crumbles and put pan under broiler for a minute or two until bacon is crisp and beans are bubbling.
Serve as a side dish (a nice alternative for a Thanksgiving green bean casserole) curl up with a bowl of it, while lounging in your PJs.
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