These green beans will ‘bacon’ to you

One day quite a few years ago, Joey and I were given a large bag of green beans—the type you’re supposed to let steam in the bag in the microwave, and they were whole green beans, which was not something I was particularly familiar with.

I popped them in the microwave and cooked them according to the directions, and they were terrible.

Actually, they were probably fine, but I just don’t like eating crunchy cooked vegetables as a general rule, and these were definitely more crunch than anything else.

It was because of that weird bag of green beans that I avoided trying to make fresh green beans at home. Instead, I normally just pop open a can of them if I’m in the mood. But I decided to try again recently, and I’m glad I didn’t give up on them.

Now, let me make it perfectly clear that there is absolutely no nutritional value left in this recipe for green beans. I don’t think it even counts as being a vegetable any more with the amount of bacon and butter that’s in it.

But let me also make it perfectly clear that these are amazing and everything I want out of an unhealthy vegetable side dish.

This recipe comes from Christin Mahrlig, who posted it on the blog “Spicy Southern Kitchen.” You can find it at http://spicysouthernkitchen.com/southern-style-green-beans/. I added extra bacon and spices in my version.

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Ingredients

5 to 6 strips bacon

2 pounds fresh green beans

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon butter

additional salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Cut up the bacon into smaller, bite-sized pieces (I used my kitchen shears for this, and it went so quickly!) and brown it in the bottom of a large pot with a lid until it’s crispy.

Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Leave the bacon grease in the bottom of the pot.

While the bacon is cooking, rinse the green beans, and snap off the ends of each bean and cut any that are particularly long into smaller pieces.

Add the chicken broth, water, beans, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to the pot and bring it to a boil.

Turn the pot down to a simmer and cover. Let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. You may have to add more water as the beans simmer, so keep an eye on them.

Once the beans are to your desired tenderness, drain them and put them in a serving dish. Toss the beans with butter and, if needed, additional salt and pepper. Also stir in the cooked bacon.

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I luckily had a family gathering to take these green beans to so Joey and I didn’t consume the undoubtedly millions of calories in them, but they were so, so good.

And, if you’re wondering, I definitely cooked these to a wonderful, soft consistency. The only crunch in my green beans was from the bacon, and that’s the kind of crunch I can handle from my cooked vegetables.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.