Succulent Fresh Fish and Spring Produce

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail, Garlic Butter Petite Peas and Green Beans, Toasted Pine Nuts, Tarragon, Mint, Parsley, Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail
Garlic Butter Peas and Green Beans
Toasted Pine Nuts
Tarragon, Mint, Parsley
Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Neither succulent fresh fish nor fresh spring produce need much embellishment. Although the addition of lots of fresh green herbs and a drizzle of meyer lemon hummus doesn’t hurt. The verdant colors of spring make the dish pop. Where pine nuts, parsley, and lemon juice are a classic pairing with hummus – here all these flavors and textures lend a supporting role to the fish and vegetables. The ubiquitous dip is equally fabulous as a sauce for fish.

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French Green Beans, Mexican-Style

French Green Beans, Mexican-Style
Haricots Verts ~ Estilo Mexicano
Tortillas Fritas, Huevos Duros, Piñones, Chiles de Arboles
Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette

Here’s a New Year’s resolution: Serve More Green Bean Dishes – especially the elegant French ones. We’re keeping our holiday buffet merry & bright with fresh haricots verts dressed in a flamboyant style! This flashy dish debuted on our Thanksgiving table and will make a repeat appearance during the Christmas season. Joyeux Noël. Feliz Navidad.

French Green Beans, Mexican-Style Recipe

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Stuffed Mushrooms “Green Bean Casserole Style”

green bean casserole makeover
Stuffed Mushrooms “Green Bean Casserole Style

Mushroom Duxelles, Olive Oil Bechamel, Haricots Verts
Panko Crusted Fanny Bay Oysters, Truffle Salt, Frizzled Leeks

My friends in the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group have made some major changes to the iconic green bean casserole this year. Major. For our monthly challenge we’ve taken the classic casserole recipe, originally made with green beans, mushroom soup, and fried onions and turned it ON ITS HEAD. There are soups, quiche, gnocchi, pancakes, and catfish ~ some have a Latin twist, another Asian, some are modern, some deconstructed, others retro. It’s a virtual cornucopia of casserole makeover creativity. And you can view all the incarnations of this most loved/hated Thanksgiving dish in the world over at Lazaro Cooks here.

Here I remake the casserole into a bite-sized morsel which conjures up of all the memories of mom’s holiday dish but with a fresh twist and pair it with another one of our holiday traditions ~ fresh oysters.

Original Recipe Ingredients:

  • cream of mushroom soup
  • milk
  • soy sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • green beans
  • canned french fried onions

green bean casserole makeover

In this makeover, mushrooms are stuffed with earthy mushroom duxelles and a rich olive oil bechamel flavored with tamari. Bright steamed haricots verts are sliced thin and sit atop the mushrooms. Panko crusted fresh Fanny Bay oysters are fried in canola oil until crisp, then seasoned with truffle salt. Finally, frizzled leeks add texture and are an update to those canned fried onions .

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Haricots Verts with Goat Butter, Sublime!

Steamed Haricots Verts
Melting Goat Butter
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Toss and serve.
This ain’t your ordinary “green beans with butter.”
A couple years ago we had a magnificent dinner at Alinea, the amazing cutting-edge restaurant of Chef Grant Achatz in Chicago. In addition to all the mind-blowing courses, one small but totally memorable attention to detail stood out, the butter. Goat Butter. And I have been searching for it ever since. Pure white. Softer than cow’s butter at room temperature. Very subtle yet intriguing chèvre flavors. Recently I was ecstatic to find Cabrima Goat Butter at Whole Foods Market!
From the Netherlands,
Cabrima goat butter is made from fresh Dutch goat milk.

Produced by churning the fresh, pasteurized goat cream. The composition of goat butter has a lower melting point than regular butter, making it easy spreadable. Goat butter does not contain carotene, so the product possesses a clear, white color. (from Cabrima website here)
Goat cheese lovers, you will be in heaven!

2 Colorful Sides and a Mushroom Salad

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips, and Shallots
Garlicky Olives and Gremolata

Carrots, parsnips and shallots are tossed in olive oil, seasoned with thyme, salt and pepper, then roasted at 425°F for about 30 minutes.

While the veggies were roasting I made the gremolata, a mixture of chopped Italian parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Gremolata is the condiment traditionally served with Osso Bucco alla Milanese. The flavor is fresh (parsley), bright (lemon), and intense (raw garlic). A great condiment!

To serve: the roasted vegetables are topped with gremolata and garlic green olives. This excellent recipe was posted by my blogger friend, Marie, the Proud Italian Cook back in October. I am a fan of parsnips, so I added them to the recipe, plus I like the look of white parsnips mixed with the orange carrots. Thanks Marie!
French Green Beans and Yellow Wax Beans
Topped with Zesty Baby Bellas

Mushrooms are sautéed with a little butter and olive oil, then add minced garlic and season with salt and pepper, finish with a splash of white wine, squeeze of lemon juice and fresh thyme.

The mixed beans are steamed then tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. To serve: top with the mushrooms. Garnish with chopped parsley. Do you like the mélange de haricots? I love the colors. Please visit here for another vibrant bean recipe.

Grilled Marinated Mushroom Salad
Gorgonzola, Grape Tomatoes, Pecans
Three Vinegar Syrup

Speaking of mushrooms, I just have to share this salad! The portobello is marinated in Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots and red wine vinegar. It is then grilled and served over a salad of mixed greens, radicchio, sprouts, grape tomatoes, Gorgonzola and pecans. Drizzled with a 3 vinegar syrup. Scott Lee reduces the 3 vinegars separately, Chinese Blush Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, and Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar then he combines them to dress this salad. You can enjoy this very tasty mushroom salad at my dear friends’ restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, California. See ya there!