This is post #3 of a series of Dallas inspired posts for this entire month. The first time I saw my grandmother use a sheet pan for cooking dinner I was confused. For one up until that point I thought the oven was only for baking dessert and breads. Two it was summertime in Dallas and we were forbidden to run the oven given how hot it was outside. A hot oven meant a hot kitchen which meant extra on the AC and that was a no no.
Sheet pans are all the rage now. Home cooks everywhere are using them. My kids love them, as much for the easy clean-up factor as the great taste of dad’s cooking. Whenever I bring out the sheet pan, my son reminds me to line it with foil or parchment paper so they don’t have to clean extensively as part of their nightly chores. It seems they don’t enjoy “busting suds” nightly, after-all sheet pans don’t fit in dishwashers.
I admit it has a benefit for me as well, especially on one of those busy nights where there is a kid’s activity, wife is traveling, tutoring, etc. If I hadn’t made anything in advance I can put some ingredients in a pan, season them, throw the pan in the oven, and then multitask over a beer and Johnnie Taylor, one of my go to artists when I need to de-stress and work out some things in my head. Though he was born in Arkansas, Johnnie lived and was a fixture in Dallas for years.
Green beans and new potatoes are a common sheet pan dish for us. I consider it “cafeteria food”. We just serve with grilled fish for protein or if we are meatless quinoa, lentils, or beans are on the menu. This recipe also works with chicken as well if you want to cook everything on the sheet pan. Green beans and new potatoes with chopped steak was my go to meal whenever we went to Wyatt’s Cafeteria which was usually after Church. Wyatt’s has since closed, but Luby’s and Casa Linda/Highland Park Cafeteria both still carry the tradition. These are your quintessential southern large format cafeterias not much different than a school cafeteria in terms of set-up. Most of the patrons are retirees and families.
We use fresh green beans for this recipe, so the only real prep required is washing and trimming them. Growing up this was a job I looked forward to as a kid, as my grandmother would give me a bag full of green beans and bowl for me to literally pick the tips off of both ends of the beans. The best part of the job was opportunity be sous chef to my dear grandmother. Back then it never occurred to me how tedious and “time consuming” this job was. I mean, it wasn’t like I had any real time commitments. Today when I’m in a pinch I take a short cut, but taking a handful of the beans and clipping one bunch at a time with my kitchen scissors/shears. I can knock out at least 10 at a time in about 3 seconds per bunch.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy!
Sheet Pan Green Beans and New Potatoes
- 1 pound small red potatoes halved
- 1 pound fresh green beans trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the potatoes, and green beans on a baking sheet. Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic together with all of the spices and pour over the potatoes and green beans. Using your hands stir the pieces to ensure all are well coated.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and slightly crisp and the green beans should be browned and crisp, perhaps even shriveled a bit.