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The Best Green Bean, Onion and Mushroom Dish Ever

The Best Green Bean, Onion and Mushroom Dish Ever

by Creative Culinary on July 14, 2011

So I made some green beans…so big deal right? Wrong. They were a huge deal. A ‘I think I could eat these for breakfast,  lunch and dinner deal’ even. Was it the bacon fat? I’m sure that did not hurt. How about the chicken stock…that too. But what I really loved? Though made smack dab in the middle of summer; they are already on my list of planned dishes for Thanksgiving. I have found the Holy Grail; the dish that will get others to follow me and leave that horrid canned mess called a Green Bean Casserole. Me, green beans and my new green Le Creuset French Oven! C’est tres magnifique!

I’ve been cooking for some time now. Almost since I can remember. I’ve shared the special moments of cooking with my Grandmother; those moments were the fun ones and especially important to me as my own mother was an alcoholic and not the pretty, funny kind either. No, my mom was the worst kind; the could not admit she had a problem kind. As the oldest daughter that left a lot on my shoulders because I had five brothers and sisters; one who was born when I was 16. I loved them, I did, but the situation made me weary. Weary of having to stay home from high school, quit college or quit jobs so I could be the stand-in mom when she had an episode that required hospitalization or even if she just felt like staying in bed all day.

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I started doing all of the cooking for our family the summer after my first year of college when my mother was in a facility for months and I was expected to fulfill her role full-time.  Though I admit I was intimidated by those demands then, I was always the girl to get it done when a challenge was set in front of me. So I took care of the baby, kept the house clean, did the grocery shopping and started looking at cookbooks and upping my game for meals. By the time I moved out a year later I had a greater sense of confidence and really enjoyed the process of taking a set of ingredients and making something that tasted good and nurtured those I cared about.

It took someone else suggesting to me that if I could manage working full time, tend to a large family and pay room and board at 18; then maybe I should move out and live on my own. I have to admit, the thought had never crossed my mind. I was so used to caring for people around me, being the dutiful daughter, that it NEVER occurred to me that I did not have to stay, that I could make a decision based on what would improve the quality of my life. So, with a great deal of trepidation, that is what I did.

I wish I could say that something magical happened, that it changed the relationship with my father who expected a lot from me yet could never acknowledge my value, or that my mother stopped drinking but that would not be true. If I don’t share much of my growing up it’s just because I don’t have those ‘Father Knows Best’ memories to cull from. Why stories about cooking with my mother will never appear and why those with my beloved Grandma are so important.

On my own I had very little equipment to cook with so when that salesman showed up at my door and I could get an entire set of cookware and make payments for it? Some might have thought I was a sucker then but I will never regret that choice. I used that same set of pots and pans for over 30 years. I cooked for friends and boyfriends, husband and children with those pots and pans and even today still have the egg poaching pan and insert that was a part of the set! I gave everything else to my oldest daughter when she graduated from college and moved into her first apartment and as a reward to myself, I bought a full set of All Clad pans (not without my standard modis operandi of finding the BEST deal in the land, promise!) and have loved using them and yes, have them hanging in plain sight in my kitchen!

So…though I’ve heard the name Le Creuset whispered with reverance…I never got it. That much money for one pan? And an orange or yellow one at that (Full confession? Hate orange). I have a tendency to often decry name brands and the excessive amounts paid for them in comparison to other goods. C O A C H – those letters don’t really seem to guarantee anything much better than just an overpriced purse in my mind. (Shh, don’t tell, I might have an outlet one that I do love).

So, when the adorable Julie at http://thelittlekitchen.net had a contest for a Le Creuset French Oven, can I tell you that I left a comment as much to support Julie as anything and never in a gazillion years expected to hear some time later that I had actually won. And what a hypocrite I am. I was actually EXCITED! Really…who  doesn’t win something with a retail price of $260 and think Whoo Hoo!! My mailing information was gathered and I went on with life not waiting for Mr. GoodBar exactly but I might have been waiting for Santa FedEx to arrive. I admit surprise at how quickly the pot IN THE COLOR I WANTED showed up at my door. I can not deny part of the excitement was the color…I love their new Fennel Green. It is oh so not orange!

You might think that this post was planned out meticulously to make green beans in my new green French oven but that is not true. I had gone shopping at Costco with my friend Karen from Eat, Drink, Washup and when she went to grab some green beans I asked her to get some for me too. Not something I usually make but I had a ‘why not?’ moment. I mean Karen has won cooking contests for crying out loud…she must know something, right? By the time the present/pot showed up at my door within the week, both the green beans and the mushrooms in my fridge needed to be cooked and I had a new fabulous pot to cook them in…it was fate I tell ya!

Was I happy with the results? Should I be embarrassed to say I was beyond overjoyed? Le Creuset is cast iron that is enameled coated so it’s the best of both worlds. Great heat distribution (I mean GREAT heat distribution; there is simply no way that onions sizzle like that so uniformly in my stainless steel) coupled with ease of cleanup. And as much as I love my All Clad, I have to admit, this is a ‘pretty’ pot so it can be used for serving right from the table. I was most impressed with how very long it retained heat once I removed it from the stove. I sort of did this post bass ackwards. I used the pot first and then went searching for information. I have to admit I do love a 101 year warranty; it will most certainly outlive me and I’m sure will be something that is fought over. Something I especially love? I can use it on my grill! So, thanks Julie, thanks Le Creuset. I’m sorry I doubted you. I love you both and I love you my new, beautiful green pan.

The Best Green Bean, Onion and Mushroom Dish Ever

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

The Best Green Bean, Onion and Mushroom Dish Ever

Green Beans and Mushrooms with a contemporary take!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, french or regular style
  • 2 -3 cups of chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Melt butter in heavy, large pan. Saute sliced mushrooms until 'just' tender; approximately 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook!
  2. Remove mushrooms from pan and reserve, boil down liquid in pan if necessary til just a glaze remains.
  3. Chop bacon into 1 inches pieces and cook in pan, rendering fat. Cook until just beginning to brown.
  4. Add the chopped onions to the bacon and cook until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the green beans and the chicken stock and simmer until the green beans are just tender, approximately 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally in the liquid.
  6. Add the sauteed mushrooms to the green beans, stir gently and serve.
http://www.creative-culinary.com/the-best-green-bean-onion-and-mushroom-dish-ever/

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eve Jung November 17, 2011 at 11:22 am

Can you tell me how many servings this makes? I’m going to try it for Thanksgiving. Thank you!

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2 Creative Culinary November 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Well Eve for me, it was two. Yes…I had a huge bowl for dinner and then again the next day for lunch. That being said…since serving as a main course is not the norm, I would say as a side dish it would be 8 servings.

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3 Eve Jung November 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Thank you so much for the quick reply. Wish me luck!

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4 Creative Culinary November 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

They were really easy Eve and the truth is, I’m not usually that big on green beans. No doubt the bacon and lightly sauteed mushrooms helped. SO much better than that horrid casserole we’ve all had too often. Let me know how it goes OK?

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5 rubybeets August 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

That’s what I call green beans cooked with attitude and sass.

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6 Creative Culinary August 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Hehe…yes ma’am!!

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7 Roberta August 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

I never realizied till I read this post how similar our childhood lives were. Alcholic mother (and father) and a demanding but distant father.

GREAT recipe. I am going to try it. BTW…I have never made that canned green bean casserole. LOL

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8 Creative Culinary August 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

I hope you do…it changed the way I feel about green beans! I’ve kept so much to myself from that period of time but in sharing I’ve also discovered I wasn’t alone in that journey and even today, so many years later…knowing that somehow does make it more palatable. Thank you Roberta!

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9 Sharan July 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

I can’t wait to make these beans. They look wonderfully delish. I keep a jar of bacon grease in my fridge (shhh). And like you when that salesman came to my doo, I too bought those pans and I still use most of them, for 40 years now! Can we say Homemakers Guild!! I received my first cast iron dutch oven for christmas this past year. I will definately be making these beans in it! I love your blog. ;)
Sharan

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10 saltyseattle July 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

Wow- that is a LOT for a kid to take on. I’m curious about whether you ever had any resolution with your mother. You know what they say about not being able to choose your family…

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11 Creative Culinary July 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Trust me when I say just a small snippet of the reality. Pretty crazy place for sure. Why I love peace, quiet and just one cocktail!

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12 Courtney July 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I feel impelled to get a Le Creuset now lol

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13 Creative Culinary July 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I won’t stop you…now that I’m in the legion of fans. I see why.

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14 Kim July 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Awwww Barb, I loved this post!!! I’ll bet those years of taking care of your siblings just made you a better person. And I’ll bet you’re the rock of your family.

I’ve had my eye on that fennel colored Le Creuset for awhile… but I can’t justify making the purchase when we have so many other pots and pans at the house. Maybe I’ll have to “lose one in the remodel” so I can buy another. ;-)

[K]

P.S. Oh, and the green beans? That does look delightful. I have about 6 quarts of homemade chicken stock in the fridge right now. Trying to figure out what to do with it all. If your recipe will take 3 cups off my hands, that’s a good start!
Kim Most Recent Post: Salmon Sashimi with Shishito Pepper Sauce | In Sketch We Trust

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15 Creative Culinary July 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Homemade stock. Lucky you…and yes, you must use it for green beans now. Amazing how good they taste if not boiled in water.

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16 foodwanderings July 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Oh Barb I adore my Le Creuset but never cooked green beans in it. Now curious as I can tell the consistency is perfect I can almost taste it. We LOVE green beans and have it at least once a week sauteed with fresh garlic. So touching your story:( & btw I am also the oldest of six siblings.

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17 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

So you know! I had a brother who was older. I will never forget walking with my mom (back in the good old days when we were very little and life was sweet) to take him to school. He was going into first grade but I was only four so not quite old enough for kindergarten. I tied his shoelace that had come undone and made sure he had his snack and buttoned his sweater. I only remember this because the principal made a big deal of it and wondered why I was leaving with my mother. Long story short? I didn’t go home with my mom after all. I started school that very day! Some things never change and he was a wild child and always causing trouble and I slipped into the older sibling role pretty easily. :)

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18 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen July 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

These are my kind of green beans for sure! It’s always seems that everyone else had a rosy childhood, but it really isn’t very often the case. I admire you for sharing your story and it explains where your strength of character comes from. You are always inspiring.
I was lucky to receive a set of Le Creuset pans as a gift and I can’t imagine cooking without them.
Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen Most Recent Post: White Chocolate Date Bars

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19 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm

You know..I never plan these journeys into my past, but whenever I do; I’m always left with a sense of gratitude that I did. That the telling connects me in some way to someone else and if this tidbit is at all inspiring to anyone, well, I find that profoundly touching and I thank YOU so much for that.

You were lucky…I may be late to the table with them but at least I am now there. Now to think of what else I can possibly make since my green pan will forever be identified in my mind with green beans. :)

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20 Móna Wise July 16, 2011 at 9:23 am

I love everything green and orange ;0) I have been a fan of Le Creuset for a long time. Only the cast iron ones though. The ceramic ones chip and break too easily.
When I first read the title I thought ‘great, a nice vegetarian option’ incase we ever need it and then laughed when kept reading and saw there was bacon and chicken stock! Sods like it really might be the best green bean recipe ever! AND Le Creuset is quite a bit cheaper over here….incase you come to visit :0)

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21 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

Although the bacon and bacon fat could be removed; using butter and vegetable stock instead. I’m sure with fresh green beans and mushrooms it would be just as good. Well, almost as good. :)

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22 sweetsugarbelle July 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

Ps…I hate orange too.

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23 Alisa July 16, 2011 at 7:35 am

You are an inspiration and I admire your courage to overcome all these challenges. Congrats for winning the le creuset. I love the color!

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24 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thank you Alisa. If nothing else ever comes from the life experiences I’ve been through other than to encourage others that you don’t have to let them be the defining moments of your life; than I’ve been most successful.

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25 Adryon July 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Love that green color. I absolutely pine for a Le Creuset. So happy you won!

I have my jar of bacon fat in the fridge that I love. These green beans look delicious.
Adryon Most Recent Post: Foto by Gino and Gratitude

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26 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Thank you so much; I was a lucky girl I must admit!

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27 Lynda July 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

Lucky you! I adore my Le Creuset pans, and firmly believe that everything tastes better when cooked in them. I have bookmarked this recipe, because it certainly sounds like a keeper and perfect for a holiday table.

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28 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I was lucky…and as much as I loved these, they are definitely perfect for Thanksgiving; a new take on an old favorite that is just now old in my book. Love, love, loved them!

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29 Brian @ A Thought For Food July 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

HAHA! I think bacon fat will make just about anything taste good. But this probably didn’t even need it. Looks delicious all on its own!

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30 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

For you my friend; you could up the butter a bit; eliminate the bacon and use a vegetable broth. I’m sure it would still be divine. Hmm, I might have to try that myself even. :)

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31 Lori @ RecipeGirl July 15, 2011 at 6:39 am

I could eat this whole thing for dinner and be perfectly happy!! Love that you’ve already found a go-to dish for Thanksgiving :) And I’m really likin’ that Le Creuset color too!

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32 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

I didn’t eat all of them for dinner but I didn’t have anything else either! One big bowl of nothing but green beans. They were so simple to make and just so very good.

I love the color too Lori; they’ve got some beautiful colors to choose from now but this just works best for me; it’s a fixture on my stove, it had to!

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33 Janeen July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Such an inspiration. As much as you may not believe it, it is always inspiring to hear stories of children who suffer through family trauma such as yours that do not use it as an excuse to become a horrible and bitter human being. It is a blessing that from your experience you found a love of cooking instead of resenting all things domestic. Thank you for sharing such a personal story and a delicious looking receipe. Now if only I would stop being cheap and buy one of those pretty pots for myself …

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34 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 9:31 am

I had several moments of thinking I should delete, but I’ve always said this blog is me. What I’m thinking while I write a story and that’s what was going through my mind. It’s a big part of who I am today. I’ve fended off a lot of questions assuming I had a great time cooking with my mother so guess it was a small part of the story that I felt comfortable sharing. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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35 Kathleen July 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

OOooohhh YUM!

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36 Cooking with Michele July 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

I shared that same skepticism over the expensive brands – until I got my All Clad cookware. More importantly, I just got green beans from my CSA on Tuesday – and since I don’t love green beans, this recipe might make them edible for me!
Cooking with Michele Most Recent Post: Kale Harvest – Crustless Cheesy Kale Pie

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37 Creative Culinary July 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

Everything you said? Ditto. Even the green beans part so when all I wanted for dinner was a big bowl of these? I knew I had something perfect for me.

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38 Janis July 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

mwah. That is all.
Janis Most Recent Post: Goat, Ethiopian Food and my Jarlsberg Gnome…Goober

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39 Paula July 14, 2011 at 9:47 am

My mother always said *what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger* As unfortunate and as difficult of a childhood and young adulthood you had and as difficult a marriage and devastating separation/divorce you went through it has all worked in it’s own way to make you the strong and independent woman you are today. You could have succumbed to the events of your upbringing and marriage and let those circumstances determine your future. Instead, you rose above it and cut your own path and traveled the road, as difficult as it may have been at the time. Some people go through their lives blaming their parents for all of their own failings. You chose to accept that you shall become your own person in spite of your past and that is a testament to your own character. Our parents only create the child, we give birth to the adult.
You shared a great deal in this post and I know it was a stretch out of your comfort zone to do so and I’m glad and appreciate that you did it.
Congratulations on winning the Creuset. Your inaugural dish with it is beautiful…as are you!
Paula Most Recent Post: National Sugar Cookie Day USA!

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40 Creative Culinary July 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Your mother was right and your sweet words are touching my sweet friend. I would probably be an unusual case study in that I never let my life circumstances ruin my outlook on life (well, not for long anyhow) and really do feel that ‘glass is half full’ attitude can get you through the tough times. I don’t profess a Pollyanna approach to life; it can be hard, but I do think each day we have to start fresh, not let the weight of the past drag us down. I’ve seen what our childhood did to most of my siblings and I’m blessed that I had that inner strength, that desire for something better. I was the lucky one. It was a stretch and not a place I’ll go often but the words came tumbling out and I guess I felt a right to let them.

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41 sweetsugarbelle July 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Came to praise the grreenbeans and talk cookware, left proud to be reminded there are others who refuse to let one part of life defne them.

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42 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

So glad you came then. I grew up wondering why no one else dealt with the issues we did and realize now that was the luxury of youth. People all over struggle every day; they just might not share it easily. I know that I did not and it took me years to realize that sharing some of those details does allow others to realize what I did; that we weren’t the only family that had dealt with alcoholism and how it destroys the family unit; I know that helped me a lot.

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43 Kalyn July 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

This definitely sounds like it would taste good! I only have one Le Creuset pan but I love it.
Kalyn Most Recent Post: Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks: Ruby Red Grapefruit Crystal Light Drink Mix

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44 Boulder Locavore July 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’m not sure where to start. No child should have to experience what you did Barb. I struggle as an adult to provide daily meals and clean my house; I could not fathom that burden at the age you did, for the family size you did and under the duress you did. Of course it has made you the accomplished person you are today but I regret for you that was the path to your arrival.

I DO love orange and do have an orange Le Crueset casserole that I adore. Welcome to the other side.

Thanks for your courage in sharing your story.
Boulder Locavore Most Recent Post: Homemade Strawberry-Infused Vodka + 3 Strawberry Vodka Cocktail recipes

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45 Creative Culinary July 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

Hard to share but maybe also time to acknowledge why I don’t ever include stories of a ‘magical’ childhood. I was lucky though in that I was cherished by a family I babysat for; they were my salvation and glimpse into what could be. I’m still in touch with the girls to this day!

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46 Doreen July 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your past – I’m so happy you had someone who encouraged you to get a place of your own and that you had glimpses into a normal family and that you still have a connection to those girls your babysat…

Your green beans are making me crave green beans with mushrooms – and I just might have to go to costco and buy some… to satisfy that craving you started for me … I don’t own Le Crueset but I do have a beautiful burgandy enameled cast iron pot with lid (that I bought at Costco) that has never been used … time to break it in… with some green beans ?? hmm….

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47 Creative Culinary July 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

I have to tell you I went into making this with a ‘have to get these cooked before they go bad’ attitude and left with a ‘oh my why don’t I make these more often’ one. So good.

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48 Rosa July 14, 2011 at 9:03 am

I love Le C reuset cast iron pans. That dish is fantastic and loosk so flavorful! A wonderful way of preparing green beans.

Cheers,

Rosa

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