Monday, October 1, 2012

Green Bean Casserole

            Before we know it, the holiday season will be upon us.  My husband starts annoying people on June 25th.  "Only 6 months until Christmas",  he'll say.  He will receive grumbles in return.  But, before you know it, summer flies by (as it always seems to), and it's fall.

            One of those dishes that is considered a "traditional" holiday dish (in the U.S. anyway), is green bean casserole.  It's a combination of canned cream of mushroom soup, green beans, mushrooms, and bagged crunchy onions.  This casserole was created by the Campbell's Soup Company back in 1955.  It was considered a quick and easy side dish for holiday dinner's.

             I will admit that I am not a fan of mushrooms, so this dish was never one I partook.  I do like green beans though and I do like to find new ways to cook up vegetables.  I decided to make my own version of this holiday staple found in so many American Homes.  Yes, it does not contain mushrooms.  If you are one who does like mushrooms, you're free to add them in.

  1. 1 Tbl olive oil
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 Tbl butter
  4. 1/4 Cup flour
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 Cup skim milk
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. a pinch of nutmeg
  10. 1/2 Cup Cheddar cheese
  11. 12 oz. fresh green beans
  1. 1/2 Cup Panko breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs
  2. 1/4 Cup olive oil
First, saute the onion in 1 Tbl of olive oil.  You want to caramelize the onion, so cook on medium heat, stirring often until the onion turns golden brown.
Then add the butter and let it melt.  Add the garlic and then the flour.  You will form a roux.  Stir the flour mixture for 3 minutes to cook out the flour flavor.

Heat up the skim milk in the microwave for 1 minute.  Slowly add the milk to the roux.  Let the flour soak up the milk before you add more milk.  Remember you don't want lumps, so slowly add and stir the milk.
 After all the milk was added, I used my immersion blender and pureed the onion in the sauce. (My husband doesn't like the texture of onion).  You don't need to do this, although it does give the sauce a great taste.  Tip the pot so it is easier to puree since there isn't that much liquid.

Once the milk is all added you can add the cheese and spices.
Spray a 9 x 9 dish with cooking spray and then place your green beans in the dish.  Pour the sauce over the green beans.

 For the topping, mix the oil with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the green beans.

Place in a preheated 425F oven for 20 minutes.  The green beans will not soggy.  The topping will provide a great crunch.  This dish is delicious and will get you compliments.  It's also nice that it is all made from scratch in your own kitchen.   You can make the sauce a day ahead and reheat it before pouring over the green beans.


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