In a medium pot, bring generously salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, set up the ice bath: In a large bowl, combine water and ice (enough water to fully submerge the green beans and enough ice to keep the water ice cold). Set aside.
Cook green beans for 5 minutes in the boiling water until they are crisp and bright green. Drain and transfer to the prepared ice bath. You could also transfer them straight from the pot using tongs. Let them get fully cold, about 5-8 minutes. Then, remove green beans from the ice bath and pat dry with paper towel. Note: This process is called “blanching” - it immediately stops the cooking process and ensures it stays crisp and bright green.
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Then, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and chop it. Set aside.
Leave about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add garlic and shallots to the skillet, and cook until fragrant and slightly golden brown for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the green beans and bacon to the skillet, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, tossing. Season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes (if using) to taste. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Blanching: Blanching is the process of "shocking" cooked vegetables in an ice bath (water and ice in a large bowl) to immediately stop the cooking process, which helps to maintain them crisp and bright green.
Use fresh green beans. Don't use canned or frozen green beans - they will turn out soft, mushy, and pale.
For crisp and bright green results, boil green beans for about 5-6 minutes. But really, it's a matter of preference. Taste test the green beans every 2 minutes until they are cook to your liking.
Use that bacon fat for flavor! After you cook the bacon, wipe all but 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Use that bacon fat to sauté the garlic, shallots, and green beans for flavor!
Green beans: French green beans (aka haricort verts).
Bacon fat: If you prefer not to cook with bacon fat, use olive oil, coconut oil, or vegetable oil.
Shallots: Yellow onions.
Recommended equipment: large bowl, medium pot, tongs, large skillet.
Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only.