Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It frames our focus

A really well-written recipe is a delight. It brings a freshness to the ingredients, an elegance to the preparation, a feeling of accomplishment to the final product. It's inspiring. Tamar Adler and MFK Fisher are masters of food writing, but Food52 has been making a play for posterity lately as well.

Case in point: this rough recipe for green beans with garlic.
You throw raw green beans into a hot pan with butter and nothing else, and sear them over an irresponsibly high flame. 
When they start to get some brown splotches, cover the pan. Resist the temptation to add liquid. They'll stew in their own juices, and their flavor will be completely undiluted. 
Then, just when they're looking a little saggy and soft and they taste sweet (roughly 15 minutes later), you take them off the heat and add ingredients 3 and 4: salt and pulverized garlic. 
You could leave the garlic out, but its pushy sting will soften a little on the warmth of the beans. It frames our focus. 
Which, of course, is those green beans, sweet and singed and alive, with none of their goodness overwritten or left behind.
I want those beans. 

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