Friday, December 19, 2014

Green Bean Casserole II

My green bean casserole (GBC) for this year's Thanksgiving was the best I've ever made. That's saying a lot since this recipe has been a work in progress since 2007! 

I began with my own GBC recipe from a few years back. Fresh green beans and mushrooms (baby portobellos) are the key.

With the help of 100 Days of Real Food's recipe, I eliminated the canned food-like-substances. Sorry, cream of mushroom "soup", you're out.

Last year I tried, and failed, to make those crunchy onions myself. Some things you just leave alone, am I right? Just one pre-made item remains, as it should.

Green Bean Casserole
Makes approximately 8 servings

2 cups of water

4 cups of chicken stock
2 pounds of fresh green beans, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces

3 Tablespoons of butter
16 ounces of baby bella mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 Tablespoons whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups of milk 
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 pound of cheddar cheese, shredded (save some for topping)
French's Fried Onions
Salt and pepper

In a large pot on the stovetop, bring stock and water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender,  about 12 - 15 minutes. Drain the beans. 

In a cast iron French oven, melt the butter then saute the mushrooms until they're golden brown. Next add the onion to the mushrooms and cook until it's softened. Finally, add the garlic until it's just barely browned. [If you don't have a cast iron French oven, you can do these steps in a large pan, then transfer to a casserole dish for the oven.] Add the flour to the mix, whisking to incorporate. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Keep an eye on the flour and be sure not to let it burn! After 1 - 2 minutes, add the milk and the soy sauce, whisking to combine. Bring this mixture to a light boil until the sauce thickens, whisking all the while, about 3 - 4 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the green beans to the mushroom mixture, stirring to combine and coat the beans in the sauce. Add the majority of the cheddar cheese and incorporate well. [All of these steps can be done hours or a day in advance.]

Bake the casserole in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until bubbly. Top with cheddar cheese and fried onions and enjoy! 

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It's news to me that not everyone knows about or eats Green Bean Casserole! I'd suggest you try it right away if you've never had it. Make it for dinner tonight, or bring it to your Christmas dinner. You won't regret it, I promise.

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