We served these green beans with Blue Cheese Bacon-wrapped Chicken. They required similar ingredients and they paired well together. I was worried it would be too much bacon and blue cheese on the plate at first… but then I realized… the more the merrier, right? Well, I hoped so and it turned out to be a delicious pairing!
The green beans are super simple and super delicious (my favorite combo). Even if you don’t use them as a side for the chicken, you MUST try them!
This recipe calls for 1 pound of haricots verts. What is that you ask? It’s a green bean. ‘Haricots verts’ is the french term for green beans and it refers to a skinnier bean than the traditional ones. My local supermarket didn’t have a green bean labeled “haricots verts” so I just used regular FRESH green beans. They were wonderful! Worked great. Don’t drive around trying to find haricots verts. You can thumb through the green beans and look for the skinny ones in the bunch if you want, but it’s not necessary (I just grabbed a handful and kept weighing my bag until it was 1 pound!)
Here’s the steps I’d recommend using for the recipe:
1. Toast your pecans and chop them
2. Trim your green beans while you’re boiling water to blanch them
3. Blanch your green beans, plunge them in an ice bath, and move them to a paper towel or small bowl until they’re ready to be sauteed.
4. Cook your bacon; move them to a paper towel to drain
5. Just before you’re ready to serve, heat your bacon saute pan to medium heat and saute your green beans with the blue cheese, bacon, and toasted pecans.
Now that you have an idea of where we’re going with this, let’s go into some pictures and details.
Toasting your pecans: I bought pecan halves. Measure out the amount you need and put them in a large saute pan so they can sit in a single layer. Turn your burner to medium/ medium-low. Toast the nuts for about 6 minutes and stir them every 30 seconds to a minute. You kind of babysit them to make sure they don’t burn. A toasted nut tastes better than candy. A burned nut… not so much. When they’re toasted pour them onto a cutting board. When they have cooled a bit you can give them a rough chop. Don’t massacre them, just a rough chop will do fine.
Don’t they look beautiful? They don’t look that much different after toasting and chopping them, but they most definitely TASTE different. Try one (or two)… in fact, you might want to measure out a little extra so you can snack on several of these. It’s hard to stop.
While the pecans are toasting, you can start trimming your green beans.
Here’s some pictures:
Before you start trimming the green beans, put a large pot about halfway full of of water on the stovetop. Turn the heat to HIGH. It will take a bit to come to a boil so do this before trimming your beans!
Another thing you need to do during this time is create an ice bath. Just fill a medium-sized bowl with water and add a bunch of ice. You need the water to be EXTRA cold. You will use these for the green beans after blanching them.
You want to snip off the stem end of the green bean. Maybe knowing which end is the stem is obvious to everyone else in the world, but the first time I made fresh green beans I definitely had no idea. I think I just trimmed off both ends to be sure. I have since looked this up and I now know which end is the stem (well, most of the time…) 🙂
In the picture above that would be the top of the bean. The other end is pointy too, but you should leave this intact. It makes the green beans look fancier I think. You can use a scissors to snip off the stems or just break them off using your fingers (that’s my method of choice).
When the water comes to a boil, throw in a good amount of salt. I added about a tablespoon I’d say.
Then toss in the green beans and cook them for about 2 minutes. This is called blanching.
All blanching means is that you’re cooking them in boiling water briefly and then plunging them into cold water right after to stop the cooking process. The blanching really brings out their gorgeous green color and the salt in the water flavors them at the same time. It also cooks them enough to make them a bit tender while still maintaining their crunchiness. I hate soggy green beans. I’d rather just leave green beans out of my life all together if I had to eat them soggy.
So, have your ice bath ready because you want to stop that cooking process as quickly after the 2 minutes of cooking as possible!
Don’t leave the green beans in the ice water too long. Just a minute or so. Move the beans to a paper towel, pour out the ice water, then move the green beans back to the bowl until you’re ready for them again.
Now you have prepped your green beans and your pecans. When you’re just about ready to serve your meal, here’s what you do:
Cook your 3 slices bacon in a large saute pan until they’re crispy. Move them to a paper towel. I made only two slices as I was making 2/3 of the recipe. I was only feeding my husband, myself, and our two year old. The whole recipe serves 4-6… we didn’t need the whole recipe but we ate almost all of the amount I made!
Put the pan with the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add your blanched green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss in your chunks of blue cheese, give it a stir. Crumble your bacon over the top and add in your chopped pecans. Give it one last stir and take it off the heat.
You can transfer it to a serving dish or just serve it up onto your individual plates. Make sure everyone gets plenty of blue cheese, bacon, and pecans on their serving!… AND chicken (if you using the green beans as a side dish for it!)
The only thing left to do… EAT & ENJOY!
Click here for the official recipe from Claire Robinson.