Sunday, January 12, 2014

THEY'RE CALLED SNAPS


Greetings,

My apologies for taking a ridiculously long time to post another recipe.  I love to write but sometimes I get distracted very easily (hence the rambling that sometimes evolves)and can't focus enough to write a full post.  So tonight, I finally tackle this!  I was just watching a delicious cooking show and it inspired me.  So here we go...

This recipe was originally intended to be posted in November or December as a delectable dish for the holidays but it really is good for anytime of the year!  I came across this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook about 5-6 years ago.  I first made it for a Thanksgiving meal because I wanted to make a side dish that was different than the typical "green bean casserole" but still traditional.  Oh, and by the way, from the moment you start cooking this dish - from the very first step - your house will smell heavenly.  It really will.  It's amazing.  And will make you so hungry.  So indulge.


One more thing before I get started on the details.  In the cookbook, this recipe was labeled "Green Beans with Bacon & Tomatoes".  Well, you should know one thing.  I do not - never have, never will- call those vegetables "green beans".  In my world - they are snaps.  They are called snaps.  If you've ever sat on a front porch with a bowl of these freshly picked vegetables you've probably snapped off the ends.  So they are called snaps.  I refuse to call them "green beans". Just one of my little stubborn pet peeves.  So I will call this recipe "Bacon Tomato Snaps". :)


The first thing you'll do is cook 6 slices of bacon (roughly chopped - about 1 inch pieces)in a skillet over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes.  You want the bacon to be crispy but still a wee bit tender.  Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the skillet and let it drain on paper towels.  Save 1 tblsp. of the bacon fat in the skillet.  Feast your eyes on the photo below before we move on.





Yes, it is very hard not to eat that whole plate instantly but control here is a must - save the bacon for the snaps.  Okay, you can take a few pieces. But only a few.


*Note: I usually double or even triple this recipe so the amounts you see will be larger than you would get from the recipe as I'm describing it.*


You will then take 1 medium onion that has been chopped (approx. 1/2 cup) and cook that in the bacon fat reserved in the skillet for about 3-4 minutes.  Stir occasionally and cook only until the onions are tender; you don't want them to turn brown or become to mushy.


The next step involves stirring in a medium tomato that has been chopped (approx. 3/4 cup or you can use 1 can of chopped tomatoes just drain them first),1 finely chopped clove of garlic, and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper.  This is what it will be looking like now:




This is when the captivating aroma starts to really kick in.  As you'll see in this photo the ingredients are not in a skillet, again because I was making a triple batch.


All you have to do now is simmer uncovered for 5 minutes and then stir in 1 lb. of canned (rinse and drain first) snaps.  Keep on stove until entire dish is heated through.  The original recipe actually calls for uncooked fresh snaps.  I have always used canned snaps so it can certainly be cooked that way but in the recipe I attach at the end of this post, I will put the original recipe with fresh snaps.  


Drizzle with 2 tblsp. of lemon juice.  *Note: If you'd like, you can make the dish up to this point, put in a casserole dish, and refrigerate for a day or two.  When you are ready to eat it, just pop it into an oven at 350 until heated through.*  Garnish with bacon and eat up!  Pretty easy, eh?




Of course, you can put it in a prettier dish. ;)  And trust me, although there's nothing fancy-looking about this dish, it's flavor is phenomenal.  And considering how easy it is... I'd say it's definitely a keeper.


Bacon Tomato Snaps

Ingredients:
1 lb. frozen or fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 slices bacon, cut up
1 medium onion, copped (1/2 cup)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
2 tblsp. lemon juice

(1) Place beans in 1 inch water in 2-quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.  Immediately rinse with cold water; drain.
*Note: You can skip the first step if you are using canned snaps.*

(2) In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp.  Remove bacon from skillet, reserving 1 tblsp. fat in skillet.  Drain bacon on paper towels.

(3) Cook onion in bacon fat in skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Stir in tomato, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Simmer uncovered 5 minutes.  Stir in beans; heat through.  Drizzle with lemon juice.  Garnish with bacon. 


*Recipe taken from Betty Crocker Cookbook, 10th Edition







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