Green Beans With Mushrooms and Bacon

Try this enhanced holiday classic side dish and wow your dinner guests this season.
Prep: 20 min., Cook: 20 min.
Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients
2  pounds  fresh green beans, trimmed
8  Holmes Smokehouse bacon slices
3  cups  sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 7 oz.)
1/4  cup  chopped shallots
1/8  to 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt

Preparation
1. Cook beans in boiling salted water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and set aside.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 1/2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Discard remaining drippings. Crumble bacon.
3. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in hot drippings over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Add green beans and crushed red pepper; sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in crumbled bacon, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Asparagus With Mushrooms and Bacon: Substitute 2 lb. fresh asparagus for green beans. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1 1/2- inch pieces. Proceed with recipe as directed, cooking asparagus pieces for 2 to 4 minutes.

Caroline Harris, Lexington, Georgia, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2006

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