In the interest of posting something about food, one more meal from the visit with my parents last month!
The last night before my mom and dad left, we made another real B_______-style dinner, grilled pepper-steaks with potato salad and green beans. Tom made this warm potato salad from Chocolate and Zucchini, though we improvised a bit with which vinegars we used, pancetta instead of ham, etc. There are hazelnuts in the salad, which adds great crunch and unexpected flavor. I’m suddenly a fan of this type of warm potato salad–I don’t like american-style ones, they’re too gloppy for me (though my aunt Chris made a great one for the graduation party, which I will be trying soon!). But this is mayo-free and perfect with summer grilled dinners.
Mom made a favorite green bean recipe, which I’m trying to get and will edit into the post later. She sautéed shallots and…mixed them with barely-steamed beans. I’m sure there’s more to it but I wasn’t focused! *** See below for Mom’s bean tips*** We also caramelized onions for the steaks. Delicious!
***Edited to add green bean tips from Mom:
“You’ve got the green beans; it was just shallot & beans. The only difference is I am boiling not steaming the beans these days.
I heat a large pot of water to boiling. Salt it heavily so it tastes salty. Add beans and cook until barely done – or the way you like them. If you are going to shock them, take them out the way you like them. If you aren’t going to shock them, take them out sooner because they will keep cooking. Drain and dry; I lay mine out on a kitchen towel while I sautée the shallots. Slowly sautée 1 shallot per pound of beans (that’s a WAG because shallots are all different sizes) in a T or two of olive oil. They’ll burn if you hurry them and you’ve got to taste them to know when they are really done. When they are done, add your dry beans and toss to reheat to room temp. Salt & pepper to taste. You can substitute garlic for shallots but it’s not as subtle.
Here’s my current take on beans. I toss the great beans from the Farmers Market with a little Agrumato Lemon oil (worth every penny) and some slivers of preserved lemon and lots of salt. I cannot stop eating these beans. Of course I am spoiled by having both Agrumato oil and preserved lemon but you can add some lemon zest instead.”