Green Beans with Garlicky Miso Sauce

As has been my pattern since the beginning with this blog, I haven’t posted in months. 2020 was quite the year. My last post was April 14, 2020. 11 days later, my father passed away, coincidentally on my mother’s birthday. We were only 6 weeks into quarantine and the pandemic and the weeks leading up to his death we were not allowed to see him at all. We didn’t know what we didn’t know back then. The grief comes in waves, especially not having the appropriate closure…

About a month after his passing, my real estate career just blew up. Like many agents around the country, my business fell into this highly competitive seller’s market. I was fortunate enough to be on the listing side for the bulk of my deals and benefited tremendously, finishing the year with nearly $6 million in volume and also achieving the coveted New Jersey Realtors Circle of Excellence award I was striving for since beginning my career.

My dad with my nephews celebrating in last birthday in June 2019 – he was 76

The good news is I’ve been cooking as always. Except for around the holidays where I was ordering takeout because I was so busy, the bulk of my meals continue to be homemade. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of my favorite pandemic eats.

A couple of months back my boyfriend (still waiting #buythatring) and I were up in Beacon, NY. I had been showing some houses in the area and since we were upstate we decided to go together and make a day of it. We stopped and had lunch at a gastropub. When ordering my sandwich I wasn’t in a french fry mood, and my server raved about their green beans. She was not wrong, they had a luxurious, umami packed sauce. While I haven’t been able to replicate it fully, I do think the magic ingredient was miso paste. Since that outing I’ve been preparing green beans almost exclusively like this.

New Year’s Eve meal with my man – steak with chimichurri, grilled shrimp, and the green beans
Browning the garlic so it’s nutty but not burned in a key to this dish
Deglaze the mixture with a bit of water and you’ll get a luxurious, umami packed sauce

GREEN BEANS WITH GARLICKY MISO SAUCE

This recipe is more about technique than quantity. Taste and feel, season to your individual likes. Quantities are approximated.

In a medium stockpot or large saute pan, bring water to a boil. Add your green beans (about a pound) and cook until just about al dente. Drain and blanche. You’ll be cooking/blistering them in the sauce later, so important not to overcook.

In the same pan, heat a mixture butter and a bit of oil over medium to high heat. Add about 1/4 cup of fresh, chopped garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the beans start to brown and blister a bit. Add a heaping tablespoon of miso paste and stir into the dish. Cook for another minute or so. Finish with about 1/4 cup of water and stir the entire mixture until the miso and garlic are fully incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt (or more miso) and pepper as needed.

The green beans are best served immediately – piping hot. If serving later or reheating leftovers, be sure to fully heat before serving.

Miso-Chicken Noodle Bowl

what's cooking

I had a noodle bowl craving the other day and decided to experiment. I looked at a couple of recipes and was inspired to create my own. The results were low-cal (353 calories in a generous sized serving), flavorful, and filling. Even better, it maybe took half an hour to prepare. My only criticism is the miso itself is high sodium, so something to keep in mind.

MISO-CHICKEN NOODLE BOWL

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INGREDIENTS
FOR BROTH:
1 large sweet Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped Carrots
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil, divided
1 pound Chicken Breasts, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
2 boxes (32 ounce) Miso Broth

FOR NOODLES
1 8-ounce package wide-style Chinese or Japanese noodles
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

METHOD OF PREP
For best results, prepare the broth and noodles separate.

  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot. Add onions and garlic, saute until slightly translucent, but not brown. Add carrots and ginger and saute until carrots are tender-crisp. Add a little water to keep vegetables from browning.
  2. Add miso broth, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer.
  3. In a medium to large frying pan, heat one tablespoon sesame oil. Add chicken, stirring frequently until no pink remains. Add chili garlic sauce and stir until all pieces are coated.
  4. Transfer chicken to broth and continue to simmer as you prepare the noodles.
  5. Cook noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and transfer to pot with one tablespoon sesame oil to prevent noodles from sticking.
  6. To serve – in a large bowl, add about half a cup of noodles. Pour 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the broth mixture over. Garnish with scallions and serve with chopsticks, if desired.

Broth mixture and be refrigerated and reheated as needed up to one week.