When in doubt, do without

You could probably whip a pile of string beans into a puree and then pour some crazy lobster flavored liquor over the top, set them on fire, shave truffles over that and serve it in a long stemmed glass with a swizzle stick of fresh peas and a chaser of hot lemon cream, but I prefer my string beans alone, and practically naked.  Especially when I am nervous.
I had a cooking audition last night in a home with a view normally reserved for the winged; 76 stories up and windows that wrapped around the hills of New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty the bridges that connect Manhattan on the East, Manhattan on the West, the whole of Central Park, some of all of the boroughs and I’m sure if I squinted I could see Connecticut.  I was thinking about a tasting menu with 46 items, and instead I decided on my classic meat sauce with all the love I have to give, seared chicken with a warm carrot salad tossed with shallot, currant and pignoli and practically naked green beans.  They liked it.

If it’s a day when you have it all together and you want to shake things up, simmer the beans with a dash of olive oil and salt until they are just tender.  In a saute pan at the same time, drizzle in a little olive oil and add a shallot for a pound of beans, about a tablespoon of fresh parsley, the same of mint, a little salt and once the shallot has begun to caramelize, a handful of pignoli, shaking the pan until the pignoli begin to go golden. (No further) Toss with the string beans and taste for salt and freshly ground black pepper.  This is also good with a tumble of your favorite goat cheese.

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