Green Beans with Portobello Mushrooms and Shallots
Pierce bags with small knife hole in center. Place bags in microwave and cook about 10 minutes* on high (bags should blow up like a balloon and steam should escape from knife hole. DO NOT OVER-COOK; green beans should be crispy. Immediately empty green beans into a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. (A large pasta cook pan with an inner strainer basket works fine; place ice cubes under basket. Let sit 5 minutes to cool.) Remove vegetables from the cold water bath and allow to drain thoroughly.
Heat a large skillet and add 3/4 cup of oil at a medium heat. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté 5 minutes until mushrooms are a light brown. Add shallots and continue to sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk vinegar and mustard. Gradually add the 1-1/3 cups of olive oil.
Place green beans and mushroom in serving bowl and drizzle over the vinegar-mustard. Place tomato wedges around edge for decoration. May be served cool or at room temperature.
Makes 20 servings, more or less. A quick vegetable side-dish for a large family picnic.
* Adjust cook time for smaller quantities -- 4 minutes or so for 1/2 pound, for example.