Martha Stewart Living (November 2016)
Bittens, we burned the shallots.
We'd been doing so good! We'd prepped the shallots a couple days ahead of time. (For this recipe, Martha notes that "the shallots can be fried five days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.") Anything you can do early for Thanksgiving is a good thing. So two days before our Fakesgiving feast, we slice and fried and dried our shallots and stored them in an airtight container.
Then on the day of the meal, we cooked the beans, scattered the shallots o'er top, and snapped the photo you see above.
That's when things got bad.
Our shallots had gotten a little soft in storage; they weren't crispy like we wanted them. So, bright idea: Let's spread them out on a cookie sheet and cook them in the oven a bit to crisp them back up!
Well, five minutes turned to 10, and we were harried with other last-minute food prep. By the time we remembered to pull the shallots out of the oven, they were pretty much burnt to a crisp.
That's a problem. Because, for one, we'd put a lot of work into them and it was frustrating to have to toss them in the garbage. But it was also a problem because without the crispy shallots, this recipe is essentially "green beans with butter." Booorrring.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be our least-favorite dish. Not because it was bad, but because it was, well, you know, just green beans with butter and overcooked shallots.
Perfectly done shallots would have made the dish a lot better; however, this is still going to be a pretty simple, straightforward side dish no matter what.
If you want something super plain, this is a good, basic green bean recipe.
And if you make it, do us a favor: Keep you eye on the shallots!
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Prep time: 40 mins | Total time: 40 mins
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 ounces shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise (2 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, halved
Heat 1/2 inch oil in a small skillet over medium. When oil shimmers (320 degrees), carefully add 1/3 cup shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until just golden and bubbles stop forming rapidly around shallots, 2 to 3 minutes. (They will darken and crisp as they cool; do not let darken in oil, or they will taste bitter.) Transfer to paper towels, season with salt, and let stand until cool and crisp. Continue frying remaining shallots in batches.
Combine beans, butter, and 1/2 cup water in a large straight-sided skillet; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cook, tossing frequently, until water evaporates, butter begins to brown, and beans are vibrant green and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (If water evaporates too quickly, add more, a few tablespoons at a time.)
Transfer beans to a serving platter and squeeze lemon over top. Serve, with shallots alongside, or top with shallots just before serving.