As part of Thanksgiving prep, since we’re hosting my family again this year here in Boulder, I wanted to put a spin on an old classic: green bean casserole. Whether at Thanksgiving or Christmas time, it’s comfort food that’s great for either holiday season. My Nunnie makes a broccoli casserole and bless her heart, makes it with velveeta and ritz crackers. I am trying to spin something a little different by using fresh green beans, making my own creamy mushroom soup from scratch and besides the french onions, everything is made from scratch.
I’m going to be recreating this, this year at Thanksgiving because albeit rich, it’s something most everyone likes and I loved the snap and freshness of the green beans, versus the soggy canned kind you often taste. I’ve been researching a few recipes and put my own accommodations and edits across a number of recipes.
[Topping of the casserole]
4 slices bread (I used whole wheat, but white is fine – diced into pieces)
4 cups boxed fried onions (I used French’s, but caramelizing your own onions is a fresher alternative to try)
Dash of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2.5 pounds green beans (trim the ends and washed)
1 pound mushrooms (cleaned and cut into small pieces – I liked mixing white button and cremini, choose your favorite)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the over to 450 degrees F.
For the topping, put the butter, bread, salt and pepper into a food processor puling to create crumbs. Pour into a bowl and mix in the fried onions, then set aside.
Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt. Cook the beans until they’re bright green (~5 minutes). Drain the beans and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop from cooking. You can then drain the beans from the ice water and lay in a bowl to dry.
Using the same pot, add your butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, stirring frequently as it will thicken. Add the chicken broth and cream, bringing it to a simmer and lower the heat to medium. Allow the sauce to thicken for about 15 minutes. It’s important to let it reduce and thicken.
Once the sauce has thickened, add the green beans and coat evenly. Pour mixture into a baking dish (mine was 9×13). I sprinkled the topping on top and baked until golden brown around the edges. Be careful to not let the fried onions burn – when cooking before a few got a little charred.
Ideal cooking time is 15 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy! I also like saving some of the fried onions (uncooked) and sprinkling on top for a final garnish.