Stuck in the middle
I have always felt like I have had a foot in two worlds. My Dad is from Wisconsin and my Mom is from Alabama. A little southern, a little northern and we live smack dab in the middle of both – in Virginia. So I grew up eating lots of traditional northern foods (German and Polish mostly) as well as lots of traditional southern foods like fried chicken, pulled pork, coleslaw and ambrosia. So really, I feel like I got the best deal out of the bargain. I got to eat it ALL. I’ve never considered myself truly southern but neither am I truly northern. I am neither truly country or truly city. I am the gal in the middle in all ways. And I like being here. I love food of all heritages and I like to share (and EAT) all of those different foods.
Pork fat rules
Recipes like this are from that southern gal side of me. But don’t be surprised when I throw in the occasional Polish-American dish like pierogi casserole or kraut and sausage recipe. 😉 I believe there is an unspoken rule in southern cooking. Vegetables are not living up to their full potential unless you add bacon and butter to them. Collards must be cooked to within an inch of their life and you must add a pork product to bring out their flavor – of course. The same goes with beans. We soak ’em, simmer ’em and then – add ham or bacon. Pig makes everything better. Can I get an ‘Amen’?
Can’t we all just get along?
And a lot of these regional foods have a lot in common. Most all of them are considered “common-man” recipes. The recipes of the lower classes. The recipes created when they only had the cheapest cut of meats and veggies they could grow themselves.
This recipe I am sharing today is one of my favorites. It uses those fresh green beans that are coming up in my garden by the dozens and we add bacon (because…bacon) and garlic! It’s such a simple recipe but the flavors will have you and your kiddos gobbling up ALL the green beans. Seriously. You might want to double this recipe. 😉
Cook bacon until crispy, reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease and drain the rest. Crumble bacon.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add green beans (water should be just above the beans) and 1/2 teaspoon salt.Gently boil for 5 minutes, drain the beans. Heat reserved bacon grease and butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add minced garlic. Cook it while stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
Add crumbled bacon and cooked green beans.
Saute on medium heat for about 1 minute to combine all ingredients.
- 6 bacon strips
- 1 pound fresh green beans rinsed, ends trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- Cook bacon until crispy, reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease and drain the rest. Crumble bacon.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add green beans (water should be just above the beans) and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, drain the beans.
- Heat reserved bacon grease and butter in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add minced garlic. Cook it while stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
- Add crumbled bacon and green beans.
- Saute on medium heat for about 1 minute to combine all ingredients.
- Remove from heat. Taste and add more salt, if needed.