Green Beans with Crispy Scallions

Easy green beans that go from plain to jazzy.

I like a stocked refrigerator full of vegetables for the week. When it comes time for dinner, there’s a plan. And for me, a good plan is to open the fridge and see all those greens.

Slender green beans are also called haricots verts or French string beans. I find these slender beans sweeter than the traditional bigger string beans found in the market. When cooking them, I like them more on the tender side, not crispy and not too soft. Eating the beans and adding a drizzle of sesame, olive or walnut oil is how I usually partake. Dress them up with crispy scallions, or saute shallots, slow roasted cherry tomatoes or silvered almonds and you have a jazzy side dish for dinner. Today’s green beans could become part of tomorrow’s Salad Nicoise.

1 pound green beans snap/cut off the tips and remove the strings if any
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 scallion, finely sliced

1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil for around 4-5 minutes and test for doneness. Not too crispy and not soft. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add salt to taste.
2. Over medium flame, heat a small non-stick skillet and add scallions and cook until just crispy. Add to string beans and toss.

Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread (Tuesdays With Dorie)

Irish Soda Bread sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Baking bread couldn’t be easier. No kneading or waiting.

Like most bread and cake recipes, wet ingredients then dry. For this bread, please don’t over mix. To replace the classic currents usually found in traditional Irish Soda Bread, I swapped in chocolate chips. The world is better with chocolate.

Make an X on the top, not going to deep then bake until golden. Tap the bread and listen for a hollow sound, now you know it’s done.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts, Carla from Chocolate Moosey and Cathleen of My Culinary Mission for the recipe.

Chocolate Rugelach (Tuesdays With Dorie)

Traditional, cream cheese flakey chocolate filled cookie

Rewind….Do-over from today, I know the recipe said Rugelach, however it didn’t turn out that way. The final cookie appeared as a chocolate filled cream cheese roll & slice cookie. Still quite good and satisfying. Usually when I bake Rugelach I go for the traditional crescent shape and fill with prune, apricot and/or nuts and sometimes chocolate chips.

This recipe called for a rectangle shaped dough with the filling spread to either end. Then rolled, chilled and cut.

Check out the Rugelach pictured below. They are from a bakery named Marzipan. It’s in a market in central Jerusalem and could be my all-time favorite. Buttery, chocolaty, and just melt in your mouth delicious.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts, Jessica from My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker for the recipe.

Radicchio and Romaine Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

A weeknight dinner that’s flavorful and easy, radicchio, romaine, add strips of grilled chicken, add pecorino shavings, Caesar dressing and complete with a sprinkle of croutons.

Getting my son to eat new foods is a challenge. It seems he enjoys having the same dinner entrees every week all the time, the routine and the comfort foods of mom.  Roast chicken with broccoli, macaroni and cheese, turkey meatballs and spaghetti, skirt steak with baked sweet potato fries, that’s the routine, with Friday pizza night and take-out Chinese thrown in. Sometime a chicken taco is mixed into the rotation. This menu was planned way back in second grade. And for the most part works out well.

Years later and not much change.  I too, like routine, however there are always new foods to try, experiments to concoct, and shiny cookware to break-in.   Last week, looking in the fridge, what caught my eye was crispy hearts of romaine lettuce, a beautifully round head of radicchio and a package of chicken tenders.    Yes, there was a leftover focaccia that I cubed and dried out in the oven and made some Caesar tofu dressing.  Hail Caesar!

Crunchy romaine  and slightly bitter-tasting radicchio. Shred the radicchio as you would a cabbage.

Radicchio’s intense magenta color contrast nicely to the cool crisp pale interior romaine leaves. Radicchio is flavorful with a slightly bitter mild flavor.

Next the grilled chicken.  Hot pan, salt the tenders, turn when the bottom of the chicken turns white and is almost halfway up to the top.  Flip and almost done.

In the rotation goes a Caesar salad.

Salad serves 4
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 quarter wedge of radicchio shreddedi nto bite-sized pieces
1 pound cooked chicken tenders
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino
croutons to taste

Dressing, makes 1 cup
1/2 cup freshly grated {ecorino (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup silken tofu
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 mashed anchovies
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all dressing ingredients in blender or a jar. Blend or shake until smooth and combined. Season to taste.

2. Assemble the Salad: To infuse the salad with garlic, rub the salad bowl with garlic clove, then discard. Add the dressing to the bottom of the salad bowl. Add romaine, radicchio, and chicken. Toss well with tongs. Top the salad off with shaved Pecorinio, and croutons.