Thursday, November 28, 2013

Real Green Bean Casserole

I had a baby a month and a half ago, so when asked what I wanted bring to Thanksgiving dinner, feeling unable to tackle the rolls as I have for several years, I offered to do something a bit easier--Green Bean Casserole. But in true me fashion, I couldn't take the easy way out. I just couldn't bring myself to construct something out of Cream of Mushroom soup in my kitchen. I had to make it from scratch, and it was way worth it. It was a big hit at both of the Thanksgiving meals I attended.

Real Green Bean Casserole

4 cups fresh green bean
4 strips of bacon (because, heck..)
1 onion--diced
1 cup button mushrooms--diced
6 Tbsp. butter (I didn't say it was healthier, just less processed ;)
6 Tbsp. flour
1.5-2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup crispy fried onions (I just couldn't leave them out...)

1. Wash, trim, and cut green beans into 1-2 inch pieces. Cook in salted, boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Transfer beans into an ice bath so they stop cooking. You want the beans to remain a bit crunchy; if we're using fresh green beans, lets not allow them to taste like canned...mmmkay?
2. Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven to medium heat. Slice bacon into little bits (I like to freeze my bacon because it makes it easier to cut.) and cook it until crispy. Remove bacon bits from pan and drain them on paper towels.
3. Add mushrooms and onions to the bacon pan (Don't worry about draining the fat flavor. It's only Thanksgiving once a year.). Cook the veggies until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the butter to the onions and mushrooms and melt. Stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Slowly add milk to the pan and cook until it bubbles and is thickened. If it seems too thick, add more milk. Add Soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add green beans and reserved bacon and mix until beans are evenly coated. Check seasonings one more time. This dish can handle a lot of salt, so taste, taste, taste!
7. Pour mixture into a buttered 9x13 casserole dish and top with panko bread crumbs and crispy fried onions.
8. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
9. Enjoy rave reviews at your family's Thanksgiving dinner

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