Game plan: If you blanch the beans in advance, you’ll need only a few minutes to cook them at serving time. Just refrigerate them after they’ve been boiled, cooled, and drained. Then bring them to room temperature and pat dry before finishing in the frying pan.
If you’re making these for our TV dinners story, you can cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces after blanching them to make them look more like their frozen-meal counterpart.
Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the beans and place in the ice water bath or in a colander under cold running water. Once the beans are cool, drain again, shaking the colander to remove any excess water.
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the shallots and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the blanched green beans, toss to coat in the butter and oil, and cook, stirring rarely, until they begin to color on the edges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.