Sorry Sinatra. Portland is my kind of town. I know your song says Chicago is your kind of town, but after a 10 year lapse to the Rose City, I visited there last week in complete awe of this fabulous Northwest outpost. So why is Portland being replaced by cities like Chicago? It’s simply a mecca for food mavens. Not as brash as New York, pretentious as Miami, been there done that San Francisco or great, but oh so cold Chicago, Portland was a week of playing in a big foodie sandbox for me. I hunted, foraged and literally wore my two feet out as I scoped the food rich streets in Portland’s neighborhoods from West to Wast, North to South.
Included in my many finds was an adorable cookware store/cooking school called In Good Taste in the hip Northwest Pearl district. Perhaps this gem of a store could possibly hold some precious tools and foods for my blog entries this week, and it did not disappoint. So fun to shop for products in an entirely different part of the country–I found a few goodies that are perfect to add to the gadget drawer.
I love haricots verts. But they are not always so easy to find. So why not make your own? It’s easy with one of my golden finds: Bean Slice by David Holcomb, innovator for the Chef’n corporation. Simply use the pretty green contraption to nip off the green bean ends, then push the bean through the slicing blades and presto: instant haricots verts. I’m so glad I won’t be resigned to using just plain green beans when clearly haricots verts make a much better choice for times when sophisticated more elegant entertaining is on the calendar.
And with a website and phone number at hand, even if you can’t make it to Portland and this fabulous store, there’s a way that haricots verts are just a slice away!
HARICOTS VERTS WITH CHERVE CHEESE
1 pound green beans (or if you can find haricots verts just start with them)
¼ cup chopped Vidalia onion
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ tsp sugar
3 Tbsp cherve cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper
Garnish: roasted red pepper strips
1. Using the Bean Slice, nip the green beans and then slide them through the slicing blades to create haricots verts. Bring a pot of water to a full rolling boil. Add 1-2 tsp kosher salt. Add in the green beans and onions and turn off the heat. Let the green beans and onions stand in the water for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into an ice bath for 1 minute. Drain again and pat dry.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, sugar and cheese, mashing the cheese well. Slowly in a thin stream, add the olive oil, whisking constantly until combined. Season with, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
3. Toss the green beans and the cherve dressing together, garnish with roasted red pepper strips and serve.