When the garlic smelled up the kitchen, I added a bit of chicken broth and cornstarch and let it bubble up to finish cooking the green beans while I toasted some sesame seeds.
We definitely got 'bang for the buck' with this Asian meal ... two really good dishes ... keepers, both.
Tomorrow? I promise I'll return to the sweet potatoes, squash, dried peas, kale, white beans, canned tomatoes, et cetera, but tonight I channeled August.
Sichuan Green Beans
¾ lb. fresh green beans, washed and tipped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. peanut oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. hot chili sauce
¼ c. chicken broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
Making the Dish:
1. Cut the green beans into two-inch lengths and blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes.
2. Use some of the hot blanching water to make a bit of instant chicken stock and set it near your wok station.
3. Drain the beans and place them in a cold water bath until they are cooled, then drain them again and set them near your wok.
4. While the beans blanch, toast the sesame seeds in a hot fry pan over medium-high heat. Scrape the seeds onto a plate to cool and set aside.
5. Combine the sesame oil, sugar, and chili sauce in a small bowl and place near the beans.
6. Ten minutes before you want to eat, heat the wok over high heat.
7. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the wok.
8. Add the garlic and toss just until fragrant. Toss in the green beans and stir-fry until they glisten and begin to soften to tender-crisp stage.
9. Swirl the cornstarch into the chicken broth and add it to the beans, tossing to coat. Leave the heat up to thicken the coating.
10. Toss in the Sichuan sauce of chilis, sugar and sesame oil.
11. When the sauce coats the beans and everything is hot, turn the beans and sauce into a serving bowl and sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds.
At this point, you can set the dish aside and finish any other prepping for dinner - simply zap the beans (on a 're-heat' setting until they sizzle) in the microwave to re-heat and serve them piping hot.