I made this side dish for our dinner Saturday night. We, and the guests, loved it. Something a little different, but still a classic pairing of green beans and bacon. The recipe was in the November issue of Food Network magazine. I don't adhere to the rule of never trying new recipes on guests. If they're your friends and they're willing to give new recipes a whirl, go for it!
Instead of blanching the beans, I steamed them until tender/crisp.
2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and washed
1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the green beans into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until bright green in color and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and shock in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the beans again and pat dry.
Cook the bacon in a large, heavy saute' pan until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Spoon off the excess grease, leaving 2 T in the pan. Add the onion to the pan and saute' until soft and very tender, 4 - 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute' until just fragrant, about 1 more minute.
Add the reserved green beans and the pecans and cook until heated through, 5 - 6 minutes more. Return the bacon to the pan, pour in the lemon juice and toss. Season with salt and pepper.