With the green beans, however, I couldn't resist a little fancy footwork. I had a new Fiesta Green Beans recipe that called for leeks to be added; I had one extra leek from my earlier preparations (mushroom burger topping and fresh mushroom soup that I blogged about previously). I also had some remaining tomatoes and fresh corn, so my Fiesta Green Beans recipe would use up all of those.
To be safe I pulled aside a small saucepan full of fresh green beans and cooked them the regular, basic way (just a little seasoning tossed in) that I knew he'd like. But the remainder went into the skillet to be steamed along with the leeks, tomatoes, and corn for the green-bean fiesta.
The birthday dinner was a big success. Turning 35 (ah, youth!) is a great milestone; we wanted to mark it appropriately for him. But the best news was, he (and the others around the table) liked the dressed-up Fiesta Green Beans as well. Everybody left happy—our son having been fed with his traditions and me having pulled off the great green-bean experiment.
Fiesta Green Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup water
1 pound fresh green beans
3/4 cup corn (cut from cob)
In skillet heat oil over medium heat; add leeks; cook until leeks just begin to brown. Add fresh tomato and water; simmer for 2 minutes. Add beans and corn. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until beans reach the desired doneness. Makes 4-6 servings.