I just got a huge bag of pole beans. I'm looking for recipes that I can incorporate them into, and also would like advice on how to freeze them. Do I have to cook them pre-freezing? Thanks.
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Yes, you need to blanch them before freezing--this will stop their enzyme action so that the beans hold their color, taste and most of their texture. Snap off the stem ends, cut them into two-inch segments (I leave them whole), drop the beans into your biggest pot of boiling water and let them cook for three minutes. With a slotted spoon, take them out of the boiling water and put them into a bowl of ice water. Let them chill for five minutes. Drain them, shake them dry, and pack them into zipper bags, sucking out as much air as you can. Freeze.
Roasted green beans are addictive. A couple of us like them better than French fries. Snap off the stem ends from a pound of beans, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees, until the beans are shrivelly and have brown spots. Sprinkle with additional salt, if necessary, and a little pepper.
You can use the beans as a rack for steaming/poaching chicken or fish, too. Arrange green beans tightly in a single layer in a skillet with a tight-fitting cover. Pour in enough liquid (lemon-ginger water, chicken stock, fish stock, salted water, whatever) to cover the beans completely but not so much that they float. Top with pieces of seasoned chicken or firm white fish like halibut -- if the pieces are cut so that they're about the size of a deck of cards, they'll be cooked through right about the time that the beans are tender but not mushy. Place the skillet over medium-high to high heat, cover and cook until done. Serve with a nice herbed butter and a yeasty roll.
I was going to suggest the same thing! Roasting them is great. A little variation is to add a pint of cherry tomatoes to 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. beans and roast them together, 425 for about 20 to 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking, add 1 yellow pepper cut into strips. After cooking, add 1 cup of halved kalamata olives, 2 tbls. olive oil, 1 tbl. red wine vinegar and one minced garlic clove with a big pinch of salt to the beans and tomatoes. Yum!
Sorry that picture was so huge...
Meg is a trusted home cook.
stir fried are addictive: cut into one inch lengths, stir fry with canola oil, garlic, ginger, then add salt and pepper, a little soy sauce, lemon juice or rice vinegar, a tiny pinch of sugar
good hot or cold
great for picnics and lunchboxes
i should write this up for the contest, must go now...
Thank you all so much! I put a good handful of the beans in a Thai curry I made last night. That was delicious - they were so fresh. I'll probably roast some as a side dish later this week and then freeze the rest.