Haricots Verts à l’Orange – Green Beans with Orange

Haricots Verts à l’Orange

Ingredients:
2 cups Green Beans, stems removed
1 red Peperocini Pepper, de-ribbed, de-seeded, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1 tsp Orange Zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat the Olive Oil on Medium in a heavy skillet.
  • Add the Garlic and Peppers, and toss for 1 minute.
  • Add the Green Beans and mix well. Toss for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the Orange Juice, and continue to toss until Greenbeans are a bright Green, depending on skillet and heat, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Toss in Salt and Pepper to taste, and garnish with Orange Zest.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: This adds a citrus flavor to the Green Beans that is a little sweeter and hotter than the normal Lemon juice that one often sees with a stovetop Green Bean saute.

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Salsiccia Dolce con Peperoni e Cipolle – Sweet Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions

Salsiccia Dolce con Peperoni e Cipolle

Ingredients:
6-8 links of Sweet Italian Sausage
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced in strips
1-2 Peperoncini or Banana Peppers, sliced in strips
1 Yellow Onion, cut in wedges
2 cups Plum Tomatoes, diced
4-6 cloves Garlic, sliced
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Parmesan, shaved for garnish.

Directions:

  • Poke the Sausage with a fork one or two times.
  • Place the Sausage in a skillet on medium heat with the Water, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Only flip the Sausage once or twice. You are basically poaching the Sausage, but by the time it is cooked, the water will have evaporated.
  • Remove the Sausage to a broiling pan, and place in the Broiler.
  • De-glaze the Skillet with the White Wine.
  • Add the Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes and Herbs to the Skillet.
  • Heat through, stirring often so that nothing sticks or browns; about 5 minutes.
  • Check on the Sausage, and flip so that both sides get broiled.
  • Continue heating the Onions and Peppers for about 2-3 more minutes. If the skillet is small, and thus the mixture very deep, you should cover and let the steam help cook the Onions and Peppers.
  • Plate the Onions and Peppers on a platter, and then arrange the Sausage on top. Serve the Parmesan on the side.

Makes 6-8 Sausages

NOTES: This dish is great by itself or divided into Hoagies. You can use Salsiccia Piccante (Spicy Italian Sausage) if you prefer. Additionally, you may choose to top with Mozzarella, though I think the crunchy nutty flavor of the Parmesan can’t be beat. You can also do the Sausages on the Grill. If you do this, you can cook the Peppers and Onions in the Skillet starting with the adding of the Wine.

Roasted Peppers

Roasted Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, skinned

Ingredients:
Peppers, any variety.
Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Using a basting brush, lightly coat the Peppers in Olive Oil.
  • Roasting:
    • Open Flame – Stove Top or Grill:
      • Using tongs, clasp the Pepper and slowly rotate over the flame, allowing the skin to blacken. As a side blackens, rotate to a non-blackened area.
    • Broiler:
      • Remove Stems and Seeds, and break down the Peppers into “flat” pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet, skin-side up, and broil for 5-7 minutes, or until the skin blisters and blackens.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leaving to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Peel the burnt skin off and remove any remaining stems or seeds with a paring knife.

NOTES: This is more of an ingredient supplement than a dish.  You can pretty much roast any pepper you like. The bigger the pepper, the longer it takes, and the more likely you need to break down for broiling. You can store Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil in Jars for quite a while, though I doubt they’ll not get eaten before then.  Keep in mind while roasting over an open flame, the pepper skin can pop.  Additionally, uninsulated tongs can become VERY hot. Be Careful.

Tapenade

Tapenade

Ingredients:
1/2 cup variety of Black Olives, pitted
1/2 cup variety of Green Olives, pitted
1 Peperocini or Banana Pepper, de-seeded
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Capers
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Anchovy Paste (optional)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse. You want a minced-grainy consistency.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Serve with bread or crackers or use as a topping on grilled meats.

NOTES: Tapenade comes from the Provençal region of Southern France, finding its name from the provençale word for capers, tapéno.
With regards to the types of Olives used… you can use any variety you choose. I like Kalamata Olives and Manzanilla Olives, but it is completely up to your tastes and cultivar availability. You can even use “Spanish Olives” with pimentos in the middle–gives it some color. I would probably not use a cheese-stuffed Olive, however.
I am not always a fan of Anchovies, and feel strongly that if you do not like ’em, leave ’em out.

Variations:
M›Ṽ/Ɣ – Leave out the Anchovy Paste.