Quick and Easy

Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa (Colombian-Style Green Beans Cooked in Milk) From Maricel Presilla

November  1, 2021
4 Stars
Photo by Julia Garland. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons.
Author Notes

Unlike their more casserole-y cousins, these bright, make-ahead-friendly green beans from Maricel Presilla’s opus Gran Cocina Latina will take 5 minutes in one skillet on the stovetop on Thanksgiving Day (no oven hogging!). Despite their speed, they develop loads of flavor fast, thanks to a quick three-allium sofrito and a surprisingly simple splash of milk to hug the beans at the end. (Bonus: Nondairy milks are very welcome, too.)

Maricel writes in Gran Cocina Latina: "Angélica Laperira, who was born in 1905 in the small town of Remolino, about half an hour inland from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, cooked for her family every day of her long life. I met her when she was in her early eighties and was impressed by how careful she was in cooking even the simplest dishes, like these green beans braised in sofrito enriched with milk. Unlike many traditional Latin cooks, who cook green beans until they turn the color of army fatigues, she blanched the beans briefly, just enough to soften then, then immediately cooled them in cold water, a method that she had learned as a young girl from her mother—and what every contemporary chef does to keep the green beans at their brightest color. The milk does wonders for the simple sauce, giving the beans succulence."

Recipe adapted very slightly from Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America (W. W. Norton & Company, October, 2012).

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Hear more about this recipe from Maricel herself on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes. Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa (Colombian-Style Green Beans Cooked in Milk) From Maricel Presilla
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion (about 5 ounces), finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 scallions, white and some green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
In This Recipe
  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt, then add the beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain again and set aside.
  2. Crush the garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle; set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and scallions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the green beans and milk, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and bring to the table immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • totopudding
  • Monica
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

2 Reviews

totopudding November 20, 2021
This is not 5 minutes
Monica November 21, 2021
True. When you read the recipe, it totals 35 minutes between prep and cook time (which for me, and the way I cook, is always a bit longer!).