I truly apologize that I have been MIA the past week and a half or so. I truly missed being able to post recipes and pictures. But my husband and I had a few days off and were traveling a little bit. We went to visit some friends in Eastern Long Island and had a fabulous time. It was a weekend full of shopping, dinners out, and wine tastings. On the first day, the boys went golfing while my friend and I went to the nearby outlet stores. We found some amazing discounts and definitely put a dent in the credit card. But I justify it by the fact that I picked up a Christmas gift or too as well 🙂 It was definitely worth the trip. That night we went for a fabulous sushi dinner at a local place and ate edamame, dumplings, fresh tuna and, of course, a little saki. The next day we visited two different wineries in the area and then a vodka tasting. I know, vodka tasting, crazy, right?? But they had all different flavored vodkas made right there on Long Island that you could try. And they were delicious. That night we went to an amazing Italian restaurant where everything was amazing; from the salad to the bread to the fried calamari to the clams casino to the chicken parm to the chicken marsala with prosciutto and melted provolone cheese (my husband’s dinner that I wish I had gotten).
The weekend finally ended with a trip to my parents on the way home to celebrate their birthdays. My aunt made a delicious ham dinner along with a Baked Honey Crisp Apple Baked Brie. It was melted brie cheese with softened honey crisp apples and brown sugar, butter, pecans and bacon. Such a great combination of sweet and savory, it was definitely a crowd pleaser.
So I apologize again for not posting my weekly menus but, as you can see, it has been a little busy. I will be posting a menu for the week of November 17 but I did not want to leave you totally hanging until then. I made a side dish about a week ago that has turned string beans into my new favorite vegetable (and I’m not a big fan of many vegetables). The string beans are cooked until just tender crisp, mixed with toasted sliced almonds and then coated in a brown butter. The butter when it is browned has a great nuttiness about it and the toasted almonds just enhance that great nutty flavor. Only 3 ingredients and simple to throw together, I know this will be a go-to side dish for you as well. Make the first bite count!
Brown Butter String Beans with Toasted Almonds
Total Time: 25 minutes
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Fresh strings beans, about 4-5 handfuls
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to flavor water
1. Preheat oven to 350. Place sliced almonds on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. You will start to smell them to let them know they are done.
2. Cut or trim with your thumb, the ends off the strings beans where they were picked from the plant. Put string beans in a medium pot, fill with water until just covering string beans, and place a lid on top. Bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, add salt to season the string beans and continue boiling about 5 minutes, just until the string beans become a bright green color. They should still have a snap to them. Drain and run under cold water to stop from cooking further.
3. To save pots and making cleaning easier, I used the same pot the strings beans were cooking in and placed the butter in it. Cook over medium heat until the butter browns. It will melt, then start to foam and then brown bits will start to form. Do not overcook, as the butter will burn. Sometimes it takes me a few tries but try not to take it off the heat too early either (I’ve done that too) or the butter will not have the same nutty flavor if it has not completely browned.
4. Toss the strings beans with the almonds and brown butter and serve warm.