Our grandfather, Bassett Arthur was a cook in the Navy Seabees primarily in the Philippines during World War II. After the war he remained a chef and cook at restaurants in Brady and Abilene, Texas.
A trip to Abilene always included an opportunity to watch (and help the best I was capable of as a young boy) him cook.
Like the conductor of a symphony orchestra, Grandpa would twirl, wave, and manipulate his spatulas across his grill and pans like no other.
He left me several of his cook books and handwritten recipes, many I’ve enjoyed over the years. Continuously a favorite, are his green beans. (See his awesome Macaroni Salad here.
Here’s his version–and one our mother modified occasionally for a variation or special event. Enjoy.
Grandpa Arthur’s Green Beans
1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup sauteed onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon sauteed garlic, chopped
1 tab of butter
If you don’t have these fresh on hand, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
Sautee pepper, onion, garlic in olive oil on medium heat until onion is caramelized.
After the garlic, red peppers and onion are sautéed slightly, add the fresh green beans to the skillet. Place a lid over the skillet and continue to cook until the green beans are a gorgeous green color.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet, on medium, until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels. In same skillet (off stove), add Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and Tabasco.
Put skillet on medium-high heat and add green beans, tossing with tongs, for about 6 minutes. Stir in red peppers, onion, garlic, butter and half of the bacon, for about a minute. Top with the rest of the bacon.
Mama’s Special Variation
On occasion, our mother would enhance it with her variation. She would add chicken broth and black pepper and turn the heat down with a lid on the pan to allow the steam to escape.
Cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken broth evaporates and the beans are fairly soft.
More chicken broth can be added if necessary to cook them longer. It’s okay to let the broth cook away so the onions and peppers caramelize even more.