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Green Beans Almondine

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Green Beans Almondine is a versatile vegetable side dish. It is quick and simple enough to throw together on a busy weeknight but nice enough to serve to guests.

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I’m always looking for ways to dress up vegetables. Actually, one of the first recipes I ever “invented”, back in high school, was a spicy sauce to put on steamed broccoli. Vegetables always seem more appetizing when they have some extra flavors added to them. Even if you love the taste of plain vegetables adding a unique flavor every once and while will keep things interesting.

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Although I’m not sure if this recipe is representative of traditional Green Beans Almondine, I am pretty sure that you will enjoy it anyway. Cooked in a bit of butter with the subtle taste of shallots and topped off with some almonds, these green beans have a few delicious additions. And its all ready in just about 10 minutes!

Yup, I just mentioned butter up there as an ingredient, which is an unusual ingredient here on this blog. I’m really not sure what to make of butter. I feel like there are some many different schools of thought on what fats to use that I can’t keep track. Personally, I like butter in this recipe. Would olive oil be good? Yup! Margarine? I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work. I think some people would probably use coconut oil, but I haven’t gotten into that yet so I can’t speak to how I think that would work. What do you think about butter? I’m curious what other people use and why! Let me know.

So, there are my thoughts, or lack there of, on butter. Probably not quite what you expected to read on a post about green beans.

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Green Beans Almondine

Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4c slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbs butter (or olive oil, margarine, etc – see post above)
Directions
  1. Place the green beans in a medium sauce pan and fill with water, until the beans are totally covered. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them until they are no longer hot.
  2. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced shallots and garlic, and slivered almonds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic and shallots and softened. The almonds will start to get browned, also.
  3. When the shallots and garlic are soft add the green beans to the skillet and stir to coat the beans. Cook the beans, stirring frequently, until they are tender and warmed through, about 2 or 3 minutes.
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Chicken in Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce

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Although the name makes it sound complicated, this chicken dish comes together in under half an hour. Another bonus is that it is a one pan meal, making the clean up quick, too. I tend to choose to make this on busy weeknight days when I want something more elegant than … sandwiches. Or quesadillas made out of whatever leftovers I have in the fridge.

What is more elegant that crispy, buttery, edibile sage leaves? This chicken and sauce are a great pairing, but the sage leaves – they are AMAZING. I almost feel like the rest of the dish would just not be worth eating without the sage leaves. They’re really, really good. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t like butter. I have yet to find another great recipe to use these buttery sage leaves in so whenever I’m craving them this is what gets made!

I often serve this with homemade spinach pasta. I like how the green pasta and green sage leaves look together. I mix the pasta dough and cut it prior to making the chicken, even the day before. The chicken and sauce is fairly hands on, so throwing some pasta in a pot is an easy way to bulk up the meal without increasing the effort very much. Some steamed veggies or a salad go great with this, too. With those browned butter sage leaves this obviously isn’t the most healthful meal, but it is not horrible in moderation and with the right sides you can end up with a quick, delicious, well balanced meal!

P.S. The sauce is reeeaaallly good mixed on pasta too, not just chicken!

Chicken in Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce

 
Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 Tbs sage leaves (whole)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4c hot water
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is warm spray it with cooking spray and add half the chicken, spreading it out evenly in one layer. Cook for 2-3 without any stirring, then flip the chicken and cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set it aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining uncooked chicken.
  2. In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium low, and add the butter.
  3. When the butter is melted add the sage leaves. Let them cook until crisp (just a few minutes), then remove them from the pan and lay them out in a single layer.
  4. Add the minced shallot next, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft. When the shallots are soft add the balsamic vinegar and then the water. If you are making this with pasta, just scoop out some of the pasta water and add it to the pan.
  5. Finally, add the chicken back into the skillet stir until the chicken pieces are coated with the sauce. Serve topped with the crispy sage leaves.
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