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Green Beans with Country Ham and Sautéed Peanuts

Serves 10 to 12

2 pounds green beans
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups julienned Smithfield-style ham
1 1/2 cups peanuts, coarsely chopped

Using scissors, snip off the ends of the beans on the diagonal, leaving the beans whole. Bring a saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook, checking constantly, until done but still crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain immediately and place in a large bowl. Cut the stick of butter into chunks over the beans. Add the lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ham and stir gently to mix all ingredients.

Saute` the peanuts in the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter for just a few minutes, stirring constantly. Place peanuts in a strainer to drain off any excess butter. Arrange beans on an oval platter and spoon a long line of sautée peanuts down the center. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields
Broadway Books 1998


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