Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seasoned Green Beans - Pantry Cooking the Basics

One of the sides I can always depend on having on hand and always count on my family gobbling up is Seasoned Green Beans.  There is nothing hard about this dish.  It's easy, contains ingredients I normally keep in my pantry, and even makes a great, frugal covered dish to share at potlucks. 

My girls always request these beans for holiday dinners.  We serve them for winter holidays, summer picnics, and just everyday supper.  I can make a bunch or just a few.  Yesterday I brought some with lots of broth in a canning jar for lunch.  With a leftover hot roll, they were a super satisfying and great meal.

I had always "opened a can of green beans" for my family but they were nothing over the top.  Then, I started working at our local elementary school.  There I tasted super delicious and cramming your mouth full green beans.  These things are that good.  I asked the cook how she did it and she shared her little secret.  Shhhhh!  I'm sharing it with you.

The secret ingredient in the most delicious Seasoned Green Beans is this:

She called it "Ham Base."  I found it near the bouillon cubes in my local grocery store.  This stuff will last FOREVER.  You only use a little bit, but boy does it make a difference!

Here is how I make Seasoned Green Beans AT HOME MY WAY:

Seasoned Green Beans
  • 1 can green beans (undrained)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon minced, dried onion (or 2 Tablespoons fresh, finely chopped onion works fine) (I don't measure but just sprinkle some on) (onion powder works okay too if your kids don't want to see the onions) (The onions are VITAL to this tasting right.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ham Base
  • 1 teaspoon bacon grease (or 1 Tablespoon butter/margarine)
  • pepper
  • (No salt is needed as the Ham Base is pretty salty)
*This recipe can be doubled.  I usually make two cans of green beans for my two girls and I (we love them THAT much!).  You can also chop up some potatoes and cook with the beans which makes for a heartier side dish similar to fresh green beans and new potatoes that you might make during garden season.
Cook all ingredients together in a pot, simmering fairly good (bubbling) for 15 minutes or so.  Stir occasionally.  We like ours to cook several minutes to get all of the flavors combined and the beans cooked tender.  If using fresh onion, or cooking with raw potatoes, make sure to cook long enough for the onions to cook clear and the potatoes to soften.


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