Ye Old Green Bean Casserole

dsc_1516RECIPE #340, DAY #522

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Green Bean Caserole” from George Stella on a TV Show, Low Carb and Lovin’ It*

TIMING: 40 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Somewhat easy

TOOLS: A deep, wide skillet, a casserole dish, and a whisk

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and oven

HEALTH: Take away all the fried onions, and you would be better off. But this isn’t just a dish of green beans, y’all. This is creamy and fatty and is meant to indulge only ’round special occasions. It can be low carb, if that helps you at all.dsc_1517

EXPERIENCE: The honest truth: I don’t think Gren Bean Casserole belongs at the Thanksgiving table. It’s the wrong season, plus if it surfaces at every holiday then it’s no longer very special. At Easter, I’m happy to pull it out (and Christmas maybe even just because it fits the theme better), but this time of year I stomp my feet.

And I always lose.

So here it is. You can use it next Easter.

NOTES: My mom always used a can of Cream of Mushroom soup, Durkee French Fried Onions, and cans of French-cut green beans. Alas, all these years later, I use zero of those ingredients. So about 15 years ago, I found this made-from-scratch version of Green Bean Casserole and made it. I frizzled the onions. I made the soup base. I blanched the beans. And then, as the years went by, I decided what was actually important and convenient enough for me to home-make. Turns out, it’s the sauce. The beans I buy frozen and the onions I can not get of excellent quality in 365 brand.

To avoid a burnt or soggy top, I put the onions on right at the end. If you don’t serve right away, they will go soggy.

***

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons safflower oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 thin-sliced onion and cook until translucent. Add 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 clove pressed garlic and cook until mushrooms soften and release their juices.
  2. Work in 2 tablespoons all purpose flour. Whisk in 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup cream and cook until thickened.
  3. In a casserole dish, place 1 pound cooked-and-dried or defrosted-and-dried green beans, the mushroom mixture, and 1/2 cup sour cream. Taste for salt.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and cover with French-fried onions from a can. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then serve with browned top and bubbly sides.

***

Serve whenever you want some creamy corn but can’t get fresh. This is really a fall dish, with the sage, to be served with just about anything.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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