Tuesday, February 25, 2014


  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces trimmed green beans
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 t salt
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and swirl to coat.
  3. Add crushed red pepper and green beans. Cook for 3 minutes, or until blistered.
  4. Add white wine. Cook for 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring often.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt. Serve.

{Original recipe from Cooking Light Magazine's March 2014 issue.}

Details for New Cooks

OIL - Recommendations on which oil to use are Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or non-GMO Canola Oil. My personal preference when sauteing vegetables is to use olive oil.

CRUSHED RED PEPPER - Find this easily in the spice/baking aisle of your local supermarket. Make sure you measure out exactly 1/4 teaspoon; you don't want to use too much.

GREEN BEANS - Purchase fresh green beans - do NOT use canned green beans for this recipe! Fresh green beans will be in the produce section of the supermarket. They may sell them loose and fresh near the rest of the vegetables or they may sell them pre-packaged near the packaged herbs, mushrooms, salads. If it does come pre-packaged it will probably be a 1-pound bag or close to. For an easy conversion, 1 pound is equal to 16 ounces and 12 ounces (what the recipe calls for) just happens to be 3/4 of 16 ounces/1 pound. So just eyeball what looks to be 3/4 of the bag to measure it out. Click here for a short video on trimming fresh green beans.

DRY WHITE WINE - First of all, what does it mean to be a "dry" wine? When wine goes through the fermentation process, yeast is used to convert the sugar to alcohol. After the fermentation process is complete, there will always be some residual sugar left within the wine. Residual sugar just refers to any sugar left over that wasn't converted into alcohol. When a wine has very little residual sugar left over that makes it a "dry" wine. In fact, wine that has 1% (4 grams per liter) or less residual sugar is a very dry wine. Very dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Chardonnay, and Muscadet. Always keep a bottle of cheap, dry white wine in your refrigerator for times like this!

SALT - The recipe called for Kosher salt. Feel free to use whatever salt you prefer more but just stay away from the regular, iodized table salt that has been on dinner tables for decades. Instead, use Kosher or Sea Salt. Or...if you're like me...venture out into the world of amazing and beneficial salts! My newest purchase was Himalayan Pink Salt that I bought from New Seasons Market (a natural health food store near Portland, Oregon).

1. Use a medium to large skillet. For the medium-high heat, I used setting 6 on my stove. (My dials go from 0 to 10, which technically makes 11 heat settings.) My stove, and this is something I have noticed through experience from using it, tends to be on the hot side, so whenever a recipe calls for a medium-high heat setting, I usually set my dial to right near medium or just one number past medium. This is another good reason to practice cooking as much as possible. Getting to know your stove will do wonders for your cooking skills!

2. Wait until your pan has heated up a bit, then add oil. Give the oil a few seconds to heat up, then swirl the pan around so that the oil spreads. Wait about another 30-seconds to 1-minute for the pan and oil to heat up to full potential.

3. Make sure you washed and dried your green beans prior to starting this recipe. Cut off the very ends of your green beans. While cooking, use some tongs if you have a pair to stir the green beans periodically. The "blistered" look will not actually look like a blister you would get on your skin. You will be able to notice the difference in texture within the skin of the green bean and parts of the beans will get a scorched look to them. Saute the beans...so, stir, then let them sit for 15- to 30-seconds, then stir, repeat until done.

4. Add the white wine. Your hot pan is going to probably let off some steam when you do this. Just keep an eye on your beans and remember to stir once in a while. Though the recipe says "2 minutes" for cooking time, just cook until all the white wine has evaporated from the pan.

5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the salt of your choice. Serve this spicy and crunchy green bean side dish alongside any meal! This would actually pair wonderfully with a citrusy fish recipe!

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