Is it just me or are stores cranking up the Christmas tunes around Halloween these days? “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” No it isn’t. It’s not even Thanksgiving, although at least that holiday is days away. Note to self: buy a turkey. Speaking of which, why don’t we have Thanksgiving carols? “It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving!” Now that’s a tune you could belt out.
And then there is Black Friday…don’t even get me started…Bah humbug.
I love Christmas as much as the next die-hard Scrooge. I even gave someone a Christmas present back in ’72. It was a tie. But I digress. I’d simply like to celebrate one holiday at a time. I’d like to enjoy New Year’s without feeling like I had to buy a Valentine’s card. Or celebrate Valentine’s Day without feeling like I need to stock up on Easter candy. Do you know what I mean?
On principle, I almost didn’t share this green bean recipe. Why you ask? Is it not delicious? Oh, yes it is. Is it not an excuse to open up a can of crispy onions, eat half of them while no one is looking, sprinkle the rest on the beans and then hide the can so no one knows your dirty little secret? Oh, yes it is.
It’s simply because it’s red and green. There, I said it. It shouts Christmas when all I’m thinking about is how can I wedge a 25-pound turkey, sweet potato casserole and dressing all into the oven at the same time. When I’m wondering why I invited Aunt Rose (again). And how many naps I can fit in post-Thanksgiving meal stupor. These are the things on my mind — not Christmas carols. I’ll deal with that later. Right after Black Friday.
2 cups cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil plus a splash more for the green beans
Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp. New Mexico red chile (Chile Molido)
1 lb. green beans, tops removed
1 Tbsp. Posole spice blend
Store-bought crispy onions — as many as you want, go ahead it’s Thanksgiving!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the red chile tomatoes, wash the tomatoes and slice them in half. Pour half the olive oil in the bottom of a casserole dish that is large enough to hold the tomatoes in one layer. Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish and drizzle the rest of the oil on top. Dust with the salt and red chile powder and place in the oven and cook for around 1 1/2 hours — until the tomatoes have shrunken but are still soft and jammy. You can make these ahead of time and store in a container in the fridge.
When you’re ready to get the show on the road, wash the beans, trim the top (stem end). Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Add the posole mix and let it boil happily for a few minutes. Add the beans and cook until just tender. This is not the time to go and make a Tik Tok video. Drain the beans and posole spice mix in a fine mesh strainer so you don’t lose any of the chile goodness.
Toss the beans in a bit of olive oil, top with the tomatoes and sprinkle some of the crispy onions on top. And be generous. It is a holiday after all.