Welcome to the lab, please watch your step...

Welcome to the lab, please watch your step.... I'm a busy young zombie just trying to balance writing, food and life. I love to cook and love to eat even more! And I promise I won't eat your brains—unless they are made from cake, then I can make no promises.
This is where I run my experiments and post the results for your enjoyment. I have a weird sense of humor, so bare with me, I promise the food will be good ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Braised Green Beans with Red Wine, Shallots and Prosciutto

As promised, I have rescued the pictures of my contribution to Easter dinner, and I will now share them with all of you, as well as the recipe.  Aren't you lucky!  This is one of those dishes that really wows a crowd, if you are stuck making a vegetable for a family get together (like me) or need to bring something to a potluck, this dish is sure to impress.  I'll tell you a secret, it SOUNDS really hard to make, but it is surprisingly simple. It also works well as a nice dinner side to impress the one you love *hint hint guys*.  I hope you all try this recipe and enjoy it.

Braised Green Beans with Red Wine, Shallots, and Prosciutto
Serves: 4      Time: 30 mins (after snapping)

1 lb fresh green string beans (preferably local)
4-5 slices of prosciutto
3-4 shallots (or 1 small onion)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Red Wine
Salt and Pepper to taste

     Step 1:  Trim ends from fresh green beans.  This is a perfect job for small kids or teenagers who are vegged out in front of the computer.  Get those idle hands to work!  Rinse beans lightly to make sure there is no left over dirt or leaves.  Pat dry.

Step 2:     Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet (or for really large batches, a Wok) to cover bottom.  Heat over medium heat and add prosciutto.  Cook prosciutto like you would a piece of bacon, until caramelized and golden brown on both sides (See picture above).  You can substitute bacon in this, but the prosciutto adds a lighter, super thin crunch in the end. Remove cooked prosciutto to a plate with a paper towel and allow to cool.

Step 3:     Lower heat to medium low and add shallots and garlic.  Cook until they just soften.  Add the green beans to the pan and toss with garlic and shallots.  Cook over medium low for approximately 2 minutes (still bright and crisp).

Step 4:     Add the wine (please forgive my blurry picture, the camera was being uncooperative and kept focusing on the steam -_- ).  Remember to use a wine that you will drink.  No need to waste a whole bottle of wine just for one recipe right? 

Step 5:  Bring wine to a simmer in the pan and cover.  Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove lid and let liquid reduce for another 2-3 minutes.

Step 6:     While beans are simmering roughly chop the cooled prosciutto.

Step 7:      When wine is reduced and dish is ready to be served, it should resemble the pictures above.  Beans should still be slightly crisp but shallots should be soft and rich.  Salt and pepper to taste before removing from pan.

Step 8:     Transfer beans to a serving platter.  Add half of chopped prosciutto and stir into mixture.  Reserve second half to place at table for guests to crumble over their plate.

I will be away at a Pow-Wow with my friend's family this weekend, hopefully I will have some interesting new dishes to share with you when I return!  Until then, enjoy and remember the zombie's view on brains:
                                                               "Use them or Lose them!"

Nom noms,
- Z.Q.

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