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JAMIE'S FANCY-SCHMANCY GREEN BEANS

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2003 — SIDE DISH COMPETITION
Jamie Miller - Maple Grove, MN — WINNER



            1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
            4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
            2 large sweet onions, halved vertically and thinly sliced
            1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar*
            Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
            2 ounces pancetta, chopped
            6 ounces cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
            6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
            ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
             cup good quality dry Marsala
            ½ cup whipping cream, or half-and-half
            Grated zest and juice from one lemon

Serves 6 to 8

Cook beans in large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion slices and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and deeply caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove onions to a small bowl. Cover to keep warm.

Wipe out skillet; add pancetta and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add mushrooms and tarragon and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned and the liquid they release has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes. Add Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Add cream and cook until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While mushrooms are cooking, return beans to pot, along with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and cook over medium heat until beans are warmed through and glazed with butter, 3-5 minutes.

Arrange beans on serving platter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Spoon mushroom mixture over beans, leaving about a
½ inch border of beans showing. Scatter onions over mushroom layer. Serve.

Make ahead: Mushroom mixture and caramelized onions can be made up to one day in advance. Store separately in refrigerator. Reheat in microwave or on stovetop. Beans can be boiled up to two days in advance, patted dry and stored in zip top bags in the refrigerator.

*Of course, 'The Love Chef's' favorite is Colavita.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 10:00 AM ET