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Contrary to what you’d think, the main ingredient in the recipe below is not green beans, it is heat. A simple dose of high heat adds huge flavor, has no calories, requires no shopping or refrigeration, and is available year-round in your kitchen. Now for something unexpected.
“You know how when you’re sitting in a chair, you start pushing against the floor and tipping the chair backward on its rear legs? And you keep pushing until, if you tipped the chair back just another fraction of an inch, you’d fall over? I feel that way all the time.” -Steven Wright
Green Beans according to Steven Wright
What do green beans have to do with Steven Wright? Besides him being a great comedian and this being a great green bean recipe? Something about “deadpan”?
The key thing is learning to control the heat, riding that line between the chair tipping backwards (blackness, smoke detector, shame) and the safety net of lower temperatures. I like to turn up the heat and take my chances. It feels more dangerous which I like. And the kids tend to eat all of theirs and some of mine, which sets a better tone at the table than my “Shut up and eat your kale” T-Shirt.
Will you tip your chair back and try it with me? Why or why not? Is there someone at your house who likes to set off the smoke alarm? Let me know in the comments.
Recipe: Simple Pan-Seared Green Beans
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
- Half of one medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over moderately high heat, until the oil is very hot and shimmering but not smoking. To make sure it is hot enough, add one piece of bell pepper to the pan, which should sizzle immediately. Add the beans and bell pepper slices to the pan and cover.
- Cook for exactly two minutes, then turn the vegetables with tongs or a spatula. Carefully pour the broth over the top, and cover again, reducing heat to medium. Continue to cook until the beans pierce easily with the tip of a sharp knife, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4