Saturday, May 12, 2012

Catching up on 52 Cookbooks - #25, Enough to Feed an Army

When I was an undergrad at Penn, not quite when dinosaurs roamed the planet, but I swear there were still woolly mammoths about (OK, OK, it was 20 years ago), my brother was a math instructor at West Point.  While they were there, my sister-in-law contributed to Enough to Feed an Army: the West Point Officers Wives' Club Cookbook. 

It isn't listed on Amazon, so no link, but it's a typical compilation cookbook, with West Point facts and images interspersed here and there.  I got my pumpkin and banana bread recipes from it, though I use chocolate chips instead of the suggested walnuts.  This time, I decided I wanted to pick a vegetable recipe, so I settled on:

Warm Green Bean and Pancetta Salad

1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
5 oz. pancetta, diced
1/3 c. minced shallots
1 T chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 t. dried rosemary (I used fresh, since we have some growing in our front yard)
3 T olive oil
2 T plus 1 t. fresh lemon juice (I interpreted this as "juice of 1 lemon")

Cook beans in large pot of boiling, salted water until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Pat dry. 

(I chose to steam the beans instead, since I prefer my beans very lightly cooked.)

Cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp, stirring often.  Transfer pancetta to paper towels.  Pour off all but 1 1/2 T fat.  Add shallots and chopped rosemary to skillet and cook over medium heat 2 min, stirring often. Add beans and stir to coat.  Add oil and lemon juice; stir until beans are heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with pancetta.  

The beans turned out quite tasty.  They're not enough better than my usual preparation, which is just to stir fry till hot in a little olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper, to replace it for everyday meals.  But I can see myself making it as a side dish at a dinner party someday.

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