Skillet Green Beans with Spiced Walnuts

17 Mar

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I came across this recipe in a Cooks’ Illustrated magazine recently. What caught my attention was that their favoured method of cooking green beans here is similar to the Chinese stir-fry-steam-style of cooking. Most cookbooks will ask you to blanch, boil or steam the beans prior to tossing them in a hot skillet but the CI Test Kitchen prefers the flavour of the beans cooked this way – the beans are first browned in a skillet before being steamed-cooked.

I never knew how to cook green beans properly this way, didn’t know how long to stir-fry it and how long to steam it for. I’m very glad I found this recipe. The flavour can be easily changed with different toppings or sauces.

Skillet Green Beans with Spiced Walnuts

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3/4 cup walnuts, chopped coarse
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup water

1. Toss the walnuts in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar, ginger, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the walnut mixture to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.

2. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add the green beans and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

3. Add the water, cover and cook until the green beans are bright green but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. (Cook’s note: At this point, you should be able to smell the beans, a sign that it’s cooked) Uncover, increase the heat to high and continue to cook until the water evaporates and the beans are crisp-tender and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

4. Off the heat, stir in the reserved walnut mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and serve.


Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Cooking, Food


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Skillet Green Beans with Spiced Walnuts

  1. yummychunklet

    March 17, 2011 at 12:49 am

    That is a different and interesting technique! Thanks for sharing!

  2. kitchen flavours

    March 18, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Looks delicious. Have never tried with walnuts before, sounds interesting!


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