The Ingredients You Choose & Curried Green Bean Pickles

Why do you cook? I cook because it’s fun and it makes people happy. I feel terribly sorry for anyone who hates to cook. It is a pleasure to mix some of this with that and create something delicious. Sure, you miss from time to time but sometimes you come up with something truly wonderful.

The power of good food is almost magical. Simple or complicated, we all have dishes that feed more than a empty stomach. Much more. These dishes warm our hearts and feed our souls. It all depends on the ingredients you use and how you put them together. Chicken soup will heal a cold, lift your spirits and chase away the blues on a miserable day. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg will send you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. Chocolate will bewitch a new love or heal a broken heart.

Some foods remind us of the different people in our lives. Blueberries and lobster are my dad. My friend Julie, the baker, is carrot cake and cranberry bread. So what ingredients are you?

I may live to regret this question. Who can forget Barbara Walters’ famous interview with Katherine Hepburn? She made us cringe by asking, “What kind of tree would you be?” It might have happened more than thirty years but no one can forget Barbara’s infamous gaff. Well, I’ll risk a similar fate and ask again, “What ingredients are you?” And no, you don’t need to stick to one single ingredient or one single dish. I certainly couldn’t.

Are you … a sun-ripened tomato and sea salt? Or maybe a peach, honey and sweet, heavy cream?

Could be you’re a chicken roasted with garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lemon? Or mussels, garlic and spicy pepper?

Unless of course you are bittersweet chocolate, espresso and a shot of grappa? Or a russet potato, salt and pepper? The possibilities are endless.

“What am I?” you wonder…
 At least, I hope you are interested enough to ask. Having opened the door, I suppose I should to fess up. I played around with this question a day or two ago on my walk. A long list of ingredients popped into my head. I have no idea why the list is so long or what it might mean, if anything. Anyway, I am cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, salt, oranges, lemons and limes, spicy peppers, thyme, garlic and onions, olive oil and wine. Family and friends should feel free to disagree, add, subtract or start all over again. Maybe I’ll agree with your suggestions, maybe not!

Have fun in the kitchen and bon appétit!

Curried Green Bean Pickles
These spicy beans are an interesting alternative to traditional dilly beans. Nibble before dinner or serve as a side dish. Enjoy!

Serves 8-10
Olive oil
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
3 cloves garlic, cut into matchsticks
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 pound beans
2 small red onions, cut into wedges
1 each red and yellow bell pepper (or 2 red), seeded and cut into strips

1 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and curry and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the spices are fragrant.

Add the beans, onions and peppers to the pan and toss to coat. Add the water, vinegar, wine, brown sugar, salt and bay leaf. Toss to combine. Raise the heat to high, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and cool the beans in the pickling liquid.

Transfer the beans and pickling liquid to jars. Store the beans in the refrigerator for 1 week before serving to develop the flavors. The beans will keep up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

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One Year Ago – Grilled Shrimp with Pasta & Fresh Tomato Sauce
Two Years Ago – Roasted Almonds
Three Years Ago – Grilled Swordfish with Caponata
Four Years Ago – Harira (Middle Eastern Soup with Chicken, Chick-Peas and Lentils)

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What ingredients are you? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

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