A heatwave? We’re in for a heatwave – – this time of year??!! Not kidding! It’s supposed to be in the 90’s here today! I kinda like it….is that bad?? One last blast of the summer heat and I’m already thawing a few “somethings” I’ve had stashed in the freezer to toss onto the grill!! (Like I only grill in the summertime, lol – – I’ll take the broom and sweep 3 feet of snow off of the dang thing in the dead of winter just to cook a few burgers!!) But the advantage of grilling in the summertime is, my beer doesn’t freeze to my lip like in the classic scene from the movie, “A Christmas Story”, where the kid was dared to stick his tongue to the frozen flag pole and the Fire Department had to come and pry his tongue from the pole of death! My li’l nose doesn’t run and form long, frozen, icy stalactites (soooo not funny!!! stop laughing!), and I can just pop out there, barefooted, in my comfy jammie pants, poney tail, and a little t-shirt, and not have to bundle up like I’m about to head to the South Pole for some kind of survival expedition. So yes!!! Yes, yes, yes!!! Bring it on!! “I triple dog dare ya!” I can take the heat much, much easier!
Aaaand then there’s part two of grilling ….no matter what you have planned for the grill, you need a partner in crime! Something that you can just “fix it and forget it”, (unless you’ve already got something planned to grill right along-side.) Be it pre-prepared and chilled, cooked on the stove to be reheated, or something to pop into the oven to bake (<– soooooo not happening with the unexpected heat coming!), you need a reliable, tasty and no-fuss side dish to make the main star being grilled go smoothly and easily, and most importantly, an enjoyable and tasty grilling experience!! And this is just that. A quite handy little side that you can toss together for those times when you either have unexpected company, or get plowed with surprise burdens and just need something easy and quick that tastes good! You most likely have everything already! And if not, just adjust and adapt to what helps you out the same way I have done here when I have either totally spaced a side to serve, or am in a bit of a pinch of what to serve “with”! The main dish is always easy for me, I don’t know about you, but taking something out of the freezer or fresh meat from the store or butcher gives me my directions home. No problem. But what to serve on the side always seems to be the hardest part for some reason and I get lost and wander. Maybe I just like each thing on my plate to have worth and not cop out and dump a can of “this” into the microwave and call it “done.” Even cans can be dolled-up and taste dang good if you just take an extra step. So here you go! This is so, so easy and, not kidding, could be tossed with cubed and toasted french bread for a simple meal all in itself! A unique “panzanella salad” if you will. (*Also a great way to use up leftovers if serving garlic bread. 😉 )
I hope you enjoy, and by all means, use fresh green beans and tomatoes if you have them! Just cook longer until beans are tender and add a bit more sugar for the tomatoes. (Dunk tomatoes into boiling hot water for 5-10 seconds to peel skins off easily. Then cut into large pieces.) I hope the weather is still nice out your way and you too pop outside and do some late-summer grilling! You can even make this side dish out on the grill in a grill-safe pan if you’d like! But no matter what you’re serving this with, these beans are quite tasty and go with just about anything, really! Enjoy and have a beautiful day!! Be careful of the heat!
COUNTRY-STYLE GREEN BEANS with BACON, MUSHROOMS, ONIONS & STEWED TOMATOES
1/2 stick butter
1 (8 oz.) cont. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. pepper
2 (14.5 oz.) cans cut green beans, drained well
1 (14.5 0z.) can Hunt’s stewed tomatoes, with the juice, break up tomatoes
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
6 strips thick-cut lean bacon cooked crisp and torn into 1/2″ pieces
In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic and pepper and saute for 5 minutes until just tender.
Add rest of ingredients, stir and fold gently to mix, and simmer on low 10 minutes. Serve hot.