With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I would share two recipes today, one for delicious long simmered green beans ( a family recipe) and another for simple dairy free mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
As a child I loved these green beans. They are very tender and flavorful from their long slow cooking with carrots, potatoes, onions and bacon or a ham hock. So good. This is one of the those recipes that changes an ordinary vegetable into a delectable dish. Because it softens the green beans so much, this is also a great method to use for tough green beans (You know the ones I am talking about! The green beans that are fibrous and tough after just a simple steam). I also like that the work of this recipe is done so much before the meal time.
For a recipe that just simply steams the green beans and then flavors it with browned garlic and herbs, check out this one.
Grandpa’s Long Simmered Green Beans Serves 6-8
2-3 pounds of green beans, washed, ends snapped off
2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into two inch pieces
2 celery sticks, washed and cut into two inch pieces
2 red potatoes, wash and quartered
1 small onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
2-4 slices of smoked bacon or one small smoked ham hock
Salt and Pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a large pot and fill with water about 3/4 up the sides of the vegetables in the pot. Lightly salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat and simmer at a very low temperature until they reach the desired texture and flavor (any where from one to four hours). The longer it simmers the more the smokey flavor of the bacon or ham hock comes out. Right before serving, salt to taste. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and serve in a nice serving dish.
Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes……when I was taken off of dairy I avoided mashed potatoes. After all, how could mashed potatoes be good without butter and cream and sour cream and…..well, you get the picture. But then I was at a friend’s house and she made some mashed potatoes by simply beating in some mild olive oil and salt and pepper. It was surprisingly good. I realized that the secret to mashed potatoes is fat. After a little of experimentation, I found that when making just a basic mashed potatoes that ghee (while not dairy free, many dairy intolerant people like me handle it just fine) makes the best fat. The tongue feel of the mashed potatoes is a lot smoother. If you can’t tolerate it, a mild olive oil works well too. Adding just a bit of chicken broth adds both flavor and helps you get the mashed potatoes to the consistency you want. And of course, having a rich turkey gravy to go over the top makes it very delicious.
Simple Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
There are a lot of different opinions on what type of potatoes are the best. I used russet and they worked fine, but yukon or red are lovely too.
6 large russet or yukon or red potatoes (about 1 1/2 pound)
1/4 cup of chicken broth
4 to 6 tablespoons ghee* or mild extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
*To make your own ghee, go here.
1-Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into a one inch dice. To cook I use two methods. If I am making a large amount, I cover the potatoes with water in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer until soft. If I am making a smaller amount, I steam them. Bring the water to boil under the steamer, add the potatoes and steam covered for about 10-13 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft, but not falling part.
2-Once the potatoes are cooked using a potato masher or a hand mixer and mash or mix in the fat. Add the chicken broth a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Salt well and serve with a rich gravy.