Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I once had a friend who was a wine collector. I loved the way he would prepare his meals. Instead of finding a wine to go with the meal, he would bring out a very special bottle of wine and then begin planning a meal to compliment the wine. I thought that was so cool.

Lately, I have been planning my meals and then heading out to the market to buy the ingredients. So traditional.....so boring.

Last week I had an opportunity to go to the Saturday morning Farmers Market. The BIG one! So, I decided to go with a clean slate. No plans for my meal. Let the market guide me.

On the first row I spotted these and I knew where I was going.

Chinese long green beans. They looked beautiful. It's been a while since I have cooked them and I love the texture and taste of these beans. Very different from green beans. Next to the longbeans were some Japanese eggplants, and my menu came together. Szechuan Spicy Eggplant with Szechuan Green Beans and some white rice.

The eggplant recipe had ground pork in it. I was hoping to recreate one of our favorite entrees from a Thai restaurant in town. I can't post this recipe yet. I need to tweak it. It was good but too salty. I know what to do so I think I'll try it again in a few week. The beans were delish. You can substitute green beans or runner beans, but why? It's well worth seeking out the long beans.

                                                    SZECHUAN GREEN BEANS

1 pound Chinese longbeans (also called yard long beans)
1 TBSP. garlic, chopped
1 TBSP. ginger, chopped
2 scallions, sliced (white part only)
1/2 tsp. Sriracha (or 1/2 tsp. chili paste)
1 TBSP. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
Pepper to taste
2 TBSP. peanut or vegetable oil for stir frying

Wash the longbeans, drain thoroughly, and trim the tops and bottoms. Cut the longbeans on the diagonal into 2" long pieces.

Chop the garlic, ginger, and white part of the scallions.

Heat 1 TBSP. oil in pan or wok, over medium heat. Add the longbeans and stir-fry until the start to shrivel or "pucker" and turn brown (5-7 minutes). Remove the beans and drain on paper towels.

Heat 1 TBSP. oil in the pan or wok over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chili paste and stir-fry for a few more seconds until aromatic. Add the beans and the remaining ingredients. Mix together and serve.

1 comment:

Mia Willson said...

yum!!! this is making my mouth water!