The last time I was at Ric Orlando’s New World Home Cooking in Saugerties, NY was 2002. I’ve been dreaming about these beans ever since. They’re spicy like WHOA, but quite addictive. They make a great side dish (and a healthy one too!).
Adapted from Ric Orlando’s Pan-blackened Stringbeans. Serves 4 as an appetizer or side.
For the green beans:
1 pound green beans, de-stemmed
1 tablespoon neutral, high-heat oil, such as avocado
¾ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
1½ teaspoons cornmeal
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons finely ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white wine (or other light) vinegar
2 tablespoons dill pickle, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all spices in a small bowl, set aside.
Fill a medium-sized pot three-quarters full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or heavy wok until very hot, about ten minutes over high heat.
Prepare the sauce. Mix ketchup, mayonnaise, vinegar, and pickles to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Plunge the green beans into the boiling water and blanch them for 30 seconds, until they are bright green and still a bit crisp. Drain the beans but do not rinse them. Put the beans in a work bowl big enough to toss them around. Add the oil and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning over the beans and toss to coat.
Once pan has sufficiently heated, put the beans into the hot skillet. This may need to be done in batches if the pan is small. Using tongs, move the beans around to blacken them evenly in the seasoning – char the spices, not the beans themselves.
Serve the beans with sauce.
 This is very spicy. Feel free to modify the amount of cayenne.
Note from the Author:
Meals should be delicious.
They shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. Most importantly they should be practical. Creating and sharing a meal with loved ones is something I value greatly, but not at the expense of the time we share together.
While I do typically try to cook with a lot of vegetables, food should be satisfying and occasionally indulgent. At the end of the day, small or large, whatever you feel you can do consistently is the most important aspect of any positive change. I hope you’ll join me. I’m Ariel – let’s cook together.