Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

July 22, 2011

Better Living through the Great Outdoors: Green Bean, Bacon and Potato Mash

June 13th was our 2-year anniversary (w00t!), so to celebrate we went camping at an amazing spot in the Texas hill country.  Funny thing is, I realized that both years we’ve celebrated by eating outdoors.  Last year was at Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas, and this year was… I’m not telling you where we went because it’s awesome and I’m keeping it all to myself.  So there.  

But anyhoo, amid the rock squirrels and natural springs (and 100 degree Texas heat), we cooked up a great dinner for ourselves on our propane stove.  We discovered it cooks better than our shabby glass-top electric at home (big surprise, right?)!
The meal of the night was potatoes, green beans and bacon mashed together in loveliness, accompanied by chicken that had been salted, peppered and fried up in all that greasy, heavenly bacon fat.  Originally, this recipe calls to cook the potatoes in olive oil, but that’s a pain in the ass to bring along camping, so I used butter instead and MAN was it GOOD.  Take it for what it was: awesome and fattening as hell.

Green Bean, Bacon and Potato Mashup

Takes: 40 mins. total   Makes: 4 Servings of awesomeness
You Need These Things:
  • 1 lb. red new potatoes, I prefer the small ones
  • Coarse (or regular if you don’t have it is fine) salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter or 1 Tbsp olive oil (I prefer the butter for taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices deli bacon, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest, for added presentation (optional!)
1.  Prep all of your ingredients*.  Put potatoes in boiling pot and cover in 2 inches of water.  Salt lightly and bring to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes (20 for larger new potatoes), or until tender.  To test tenderness, press into potato with a wooden spoon.  If it gives enough to start splitting, they’re ready!
2.  Drain potatoes.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter or oil on medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and mash them slightly so that they are at least split.  Cook until they begin to tan/brown in spots, about 5 minutes.  Transfer them to a serving dish (or in my case, back to the simmer pot) to keep warm.
3.  Add that bacon to the skillet and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook them until they’re bright green and crisp-tender, about 4 or 5 minutes.
4.  Add bacon-green bean mix to serving dish/pot and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Toss it to distribute, then grate zest over top for pizzaz.

*NOTE:  Normally I don’t put raw meats and vegetables on the same cutting surface, but when you’re camping you just make do!  So forgive my health code violations just this once!
**IF you’d like chicken with this side dish, just take 4 chicken breasts, salt and pepper them, and add them to the skillet with the bacon grease.  Cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until white on the inside, flipping occasionally.

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