Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A White House Recipe From 'American Grown' - Green Beans With Almonds

A new twist on a classic American side dish, from Executive Chef Cris Comerford...
Recipes from the White House chefs are featured in First Lady Michelle Obama's book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, published on May 29, 2012. Among those created by Executive Chef Cris Comerford is a recipe for Green Beans with Almonds, a beloved American side dish that is given a special interpretation with the use of sweet paprika and shallots. (Above: In this photo from the book, the First Lady and Comerford cook in the White House kitchen)

Many kinds of beans, including heritage varieties from President Thomas Jefferson's historic vegetable garden at his plantation estate Monticello in Virginia, are grown in Mrs. Obama's 1,500 square-foot Kitchen Garden.

"This twist on a classic side dish makes any grilled or roast poultry or meat special," Comerford writes in American Grown. "You can use any kind of almonds that you have on hand."

Comerford also suggests alternatives to shallots:

"Shallots have a mild, sweet onion flavor, but you can substitute the same amount of regular onions or even leeks or scallions if you prefer. And if you can't find flat-leaf parsley, curly will do as well."

The recipe is quick and easy, and serves 6-8, depending on portion size. Check the sidebar of the blog for all White House recipes, including for meats that would go well with this recipe: Grilled steak, lamb, and roasted chicken. Click here for links to all 'American Grown' recipes, and click here for an excerpt from 'American Grown.'

White House Green Beans with Almonds

1 1/2 Pounds fresh green beans, washed and trimmed

1 Cup slivered almonds

1 Teaspoon melted butter

1 Teaspoon sweet paprika

1 Teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

2 Shallots, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the green beans for about five minutes. Drain and place the beans in a large bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Drain again and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, toss the almonds with the melted butter and paprika. Spread in a single layer and bake for 7 minutes, or just until fragrant. Do not let the almonds burn. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. In a medium pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and butter. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans and sauté until warmed through. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Place the beans in a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8, depending on portion size.

*Photos by Quentin Bacon; reprinted from American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama. Copyright © 2012 by the National Park Foundation. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.