Creole Cumin Green Beans

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

Green beans stewed with cumin, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper. Great side for Thanksgiving or any dinner party.

I’m old enough to remember the comings and goings of lots of food trends. One I’m particularly glad is well behind us by about 25 years is undercooked vegetables.  If you don’t recall dining in the mid-1980s, let’s just say that we all struggled through many restaurant meals serving entrees circled with carefully placed mealy black beans and artfully arranged, but difficult to chew, baby carrots, patty pan squash, and haricot vert.  The colors were lovely and bright, but the crunchy, bland vegetables always had an estranged relationship with everything else on the plate.  We tried to learn to like these unfriendly sides by snubbing anything even slightly limp.

What a funny waste of time.

Who knew scummy looking foams were in our future. That undercooked trend is over, but the remnants of shame still rush back whenever I’m cooking green beans to a nice olive drab.  Of course, the South has known all along that “overcooked,” meat and three vegetables taste good.  Thankfully, I moved from Chicago to Nashville 20 years ago just in time to reinstate country cooking (and Jack Daniel’s) back in my life.   Thanks also go to my neighbor Raj who rehabilitated my vegetable sense with his signature mix of sauteed onion, garlic, and ginger with pinches of spice that he uses to expertly season all kinds of fragrant vegetarian stews. Creole Cumin Green Beans is inspired by both kinds of cooking, the country-style Creole red and green beans recipe in our Cooking with Jack book that Lynne Tolley serves at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House,  combined with a good pinch of cumin and hot pepper flakes ala Raj.  I’d seriously consider these instead of green bean casserole this Thanksgiving.


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Andrew Cobb November 21, 2012 - 8:37 am

My brother was just saying we need a lighter alternative to green bean casserole. We will give these a go!

Mindy Merrell November 21, 2012 - 8:56 am

You’ll love it! If you want heavier than Green Bean Casserole go for the Green Chile Green Beans.

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