By Cat, Nov 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I just got some pecans from a Texas friend, so decided to try this recipe to accompany my Thanksgiving Game Hen.
Pecans are just about my favorite nuts, and I love green beans, so this will be a real treat.
Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans
I’ve adapted this recipe from one on Epicurious, originally from Gourmet Magazine, by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez (1). The original recipe serves 10; I’m making this for Thanksgiving, to accompany my “baby turkey” (a cornish game hen), so I’ve reduced the recipe to 2 servings.
The original recipe cooks the beans in boiling water, but I prefer to braise them because it makes the minerals more available. Plus I need the skillet to put it all together, so may as well use it for cooking the beans, and save the use of a saucepan.
Only a small amount of pecans is needed (less than a half-ounce), so I weigh them rather than using a measuring spoon. You can, of course, use more pecans if you desire, but be sure to up the amount of butter and sugar proportionately.
Another option is to use my Sweet & Spicy Roasted Nuts recipe, using pecans.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 11 grams (o.4 oz) pecan halves and pieces (NOTE: pecans can be lightly toasted 1 day ahead and kept chilled in a mason jar or other container with lid)
- ½ pound (8 oz) green beans, trimmed (NOTE: beans can be trimmed 1 day ahead and kept chilled in a sealable container.)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot (about ½ medium shallot)
- used bacon fat or olive oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted real butter
- 1 ¾ – 2 tsp Rapadura or packed light brown cane sugar
- pinch Unrefined sea salt, or to taste
- pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- small rimmed baking sheet
- medium bowl of ice water
- cast iron skillet
- Pecan prep: Per-soak overnight, then toast in oven at lowest setting next day. (Optional; see Toasting Nuts & Seeds for more)
- If you didn’t presoak/toast pecans: Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Spread out pecans on a rimmed sheet pan; toast in oven until pale golden on inside, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven off. Cool and coarsely chop pecans. See also Toasting Nuts & Seeds.
- Other Prep: Wash and trim green beans; finely chop shallot and set aside separately.
- Have ready a colander submerged in a large bowl of ice water.
- Cook: Warm bacon fat/olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add beans and cook, tossing gently to coat with the fat. Lower heat to simmer and add a splash (about 1 Tbsp) filtered water; cover and cook until just tender, about 7 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, transfer beans to colander in ice water to stop cooking, then drain well and dry on towels.
- Heat butter in skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then add shallot and cook, stirring until pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in sugar until almost dissolved, then add prepped pecans, stirring, to cook 1 minute.
- Add green beans, salt and pepper; sauté beans, turning them with tongs, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Serve: Transfer to a platter and serve.