January 13, 2010

Using Your Fingers is Good Manners


Last night I experienced the joy of pulling a roasted guinea hen apart with my fingers, nibbling on the succulent meat, slurping the bones for their last bit of goodness, then licking the sticky tasty juices from my fingers. Be sure, there was a knife, fork and spoon on the well appointed table. For all the elegance the meal called for, this was a time when only fingers would do.

Also on the plate were perfectly smashed garlicky potatoes and glazed sautéed green beans. And I can't forget the nectar-like piece de resistance-- a bottle of Pfeiffer Vineyards pinot gris.* I couldn't have felt more well cared for and comforted by that meal. I work out of town half the week, and a similar scene almost always awaits as a welcome home from the wonderful man I love.

*This is a Southern Willamette Valley winery whose pinot noir was on the table at Mr. Obama's inaugural dinner. If you go, be sure to ask for Robin's Pinot Noir clinic. You may learn a thing or two, like I did, that has enhanced my wine tasting experiences.

Here's how the green beans are made:

Dry Sauteed Glazed Green Beans
1 bunch slim tender green beans, ends trimmed, dried
1 swirl extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Place a large skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. When the pan is well heated, add your swirl of olive oil. Not too much. Add the beans and allow them to slightly blister in spots and turn a bright shiny green. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and briefly stir. You may turn the heat down a bit at this point to keep the garlic from burning, but you'll still want it fairly hot.

Add the soy and balsamic, stirring over heat until they create a glaze over the beans. Serve immediately. These are great eaten with your fingers, too!

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