I’m sitting here, basking in the post-Thanksgiving glow, which is almost as golden as Thanksgiving itself. Who needs Black Friday?! Most of the remains of the day are put away, though glasses that held wine and Grandma’s Coronation silver-plate still need to be put in their designated drawers and cabinets. That can wait, for I wanted to share this most excellent, someday heirloom, photo of my oldest grandnephew, Scott, who will turn 12 on my 65th birthday, next week. Here he is, cheerfully demonstrating that while he will never quite catch up to me in age, he has already done so in height. Way-to-go, Scott!
Isn’t life grand?
Our turkey was golden, and the fresh cranberry relish that perfect combination of sweet and tart. Niece Heather’s roasted potatoes were simply sublime. Nephew Andrew gave our blessing, then plates were passed and stories flowed, Jennifer and Jason soon joined us, slipping in from another family engagement, and all felt right in this day of gratitude.
Marilyn asked if I would share a recipe, and so, I thought I would. The cranberry relish is documented here, and has been a mainstay in our menu for three decades. My turkey, well, my turkey is usually quite delicious, but, no special ingredients or methods, I just season and roast. If a few drops of white wine are around, it usually finds itself in the gravy.
This year, I decided to make Ina Garten’s Green Beans and Shallots for our vegetable and for its color. Ina never disappoints, and she doesn’t with this easy recipe. As you may know, I’m an Ina Garten groupie with Barefoot Contessa cookbooks lined up like the kitchen guard (though there is just enough room for her latest book, in case anyone is pondering pleasing me for my afore-mentioned birthday). It was actually our Jennifer who first made this dish, however, and it is now a favorite. I did use the French string beans, as they rose to my attention at the market, but, I’ve used regular as well and they work just fine. I did the parboiling and set aside earlier in the day, so, just needed to store up with the shallots just before we sat down. I did not salt the water, but, did salt the pan for the shallots – and I parboiled longer that 1 1/2 minutes.
Green Beans and Shallots
1 pound French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed (can use regular string beans)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 large shallots, large-diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
Heat the butter and oil in a very large sauté pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot and sauté the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.
(from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style)