Saturday, November 13, 2010

Turkey Time & GBC

It's the most important meal of the year - Thanksgiving dinner!  The turkey begins the defrosting process early the day before and must cook all day long, the many, sumptuous side dishes are prepared with care: stuffing, green bean casserole, candied yams, mashed potatoes, etc.  Of course, the cranberry sauce is BEST fresh out of a can, still intact in the can shape, if you ask me!  Don't bother trying to make the homemade kind because the processed cranberry jelly thing is perfect.  There are always far too many desserts but hey, it's Thanksgiving and we'll over eat if we want to!  Pumpkin pie, cookies, trifles, strudels, I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Typically this is a holiday spent with family, but since I decided to move 5,000 miles away from home (Sorry Carol & Mike!) it's one of those days where our friends become family here in Hawaii.  Us 20 and 30-somethings try our best to do the holiday justice.  We've got all the recipes and cooking under control - sure it takes several calls to each of our mother's - "Hey Mom, you know that casserole you always make for Thanksgiving...", but we pull it off!  We dress nicely, say grace, and have a real "grown up" Thanksgiving dinner.

My specialty for Thanksgiving, and one of my favorite recipes, is green bean casserole - GBC for short.  Sure the canned green beans with the mushroom soup is good, but I take it up a level with Paula Deen's recipe using home made green beans cooked in chicken broth, fresh onions and mushrooms, mass amounts of cheddar cheese, and of course those delectable little fried onions.

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Update: I've since improved upon and perfected this recipe! Here's the link to an even better variation of Green Bean Casserole.

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Here's Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole recipe y'all!  (With some notes from me, too!)

Green Bean Casserole
From Angela at Aloha: Yinz Mangia

  • 2 - 4 tablespoons of butter 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut to your desired length
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or water, or a combination of the two for boiling the beans in)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (2.8-ounce) can of French-fried onion rings (original or cheddar flavor!)
  • 1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt, pepper & garlic powder
  • Optional addition: Bacon!
Boil the green beans in chicken broth/water for 10 minutes, then drain. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in butter.  To the onion/mushroom mixture add the green beans, mushroom soup, Cheddar cheese, and salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste and stir well. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with non-stick and add the delicious mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the onion rings (and cooked bacon?!) and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the casserole is hot and bubbly.

Who's ready for Thanksgiving?  I am!
Last year's GBC in the works: on the left are the beans, soup, and cheese, on the right are 'shrooms & onions and far less butter than PD calls for!

My GBC front and center, followed by baked macaroni, corn, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams...

...dinner rolls, gravy, and salad.
The star of the show - TURKEY!

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