Thursday, November 26, 2009

Skillet Green Beans with Walnuts

I made these for Thanksgiving dinner and they were really good--quite flavorful and simple to prepare.  

2/3  cup walnuts, chopped
4      tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1       tablespoon brown sugar
3/4  teaspoon ground ginger
         Salt and Pepper
         pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4   cup water

1. Toast Nuts: Toast walnuts in a large skillet over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring constantly, until butter is nutty brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir in sugar, ginger, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer walnut mixture to bowl and reserve.  Wipe out skillet.

2. Cook Beans: Melt remaining butter in empty skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, about 8 minutes.  Add scant 1/4 cut of water and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until beans are nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add reserved walnut mixture. (If liquid takes too long to evaporate and beans are on their way to getting soft, remove from heat and scoop beans with a slotted spoon into the bowl containing the walnut mixture.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

from America's Test Kitchen magazine "Cook's Country" 

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