Thai Spicy Fish Cakes (Reed)

Mix 1 lb fish paste, 4 oz. Thai red curry, and 1 egg in a large bowl; use a wooden spoon, and mix until well blended. Clean 8 oz. green beans, slice into thin pieces, and add to the mixture, stirring until fairly uniformly distributed.  Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan at medium temperature.  Shape the fish mixture into small patties and cook in the hot oil until each side is a golden brown.  Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain.

Note: one may optionally finely chop up either Jalapeño or Serrano peppers and add to mix for those who like things spicier or prefer the added flavor of fresh peppers.

The curry and fish paste are available locally in Austin at the My Thanh Oriental Market.

Fresh Rosemary, Garlic, and Gorgonzola Stuffed Mexican Snap Beans
in a Reduction of Shallot, Wine and Vegetable Glace (Bevier)

An old family favorite. Don't cut the ends off the beans. They help to hold the stuffed bean together. Your guests will use a knife and fork to trim them on their plates.

Cook the beans in salted boiling water until just tender. (4-5 minutes.) Rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking. When cool, slice the beans open on one side -- very carefully. Leave about a half inch intact on either end of each bean.

Toast the rosemary leaves and minced garlic lightly for a minute in a very good extra virgin olive oil. Combine with a soft gorgonzola to make a paste. Stuff each bean with the filling. We use a narrow pastry tube.

Put the minced shallot in the pan used to toast the herbs. Saute gently for several minutes until translucent. Add some of the vegetable glace, and a wine of your choice. Salt and pepper. Simmer until the liquid is reduced. Pour the sauce over the stuffed green beans. Garnish with applewood-smoked bacon and chives, or whatever you like. Serve at once!

Green Beans in Tarragon Vinaigrette (Bevier)

A humble tribute to the green bean. Trim the beans (1 lb.) and cook in salted boiling water until just tender (4-5 minutes). Rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking.

Make a vinaigrette of some oil (we used a combination of two tbsp. olive and three tbsp. canola), several tbsp. white wine vinegar, some Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and some fresh or dried tarragon.

Toss the beans and a few finely chopped scallions in the vinaigrette and let them marinate for an hour or two in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

Braised Green Beans with Bacon and Cabrales (Russinoff)

Roughly chop 1/2 lb. of slab bacon and cook in a pot until fairly crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Add a chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add 1 lb green beans and continue cooking, while stirring, for 5 minutes,. Add 1 cup beef stock, 1 tbsp. white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced and beans are tender.

Return bacon to the pot, add 1/4 lb. cabrales or other sharp creamy bleu cheese, and heat through until cheese is melted.