Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Green Bean Casserole - Revisited - (And a Delicious Mushroom Soup Recipe)

Do you remember that old Thanksgiving or potluck stand-by, green bean casserole?  Most people I talk to shudder a bit when they recall year after year of eating the same old limp green bean and soggy mushroom casserole.

Enter Alton Brown.  He as a recipe that I have just fallen in love with, and calls it "Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole."  The name says it all.

The recipe calls for fresh green beans that have such a nice bite to them, makes a homemade cream of mushroom soup (not like anything you have ever tasted!), and homemade french onion topping.  Yes, I know it sounds like a bit of work - but trust me - it is all worth it. 

Note: if you don't have a lot of extra time, skip making the onion topping and just use a can of French's onions.  The onions were my least favorite part of this casserole...  But the cream of mushroom soup is a must - as in, make a double batch to ensure there is enough soup left to make it into the casserole - the soup would make a fantastic supper with a slice of crunchy french bread and a bowl of fruit. 




Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole


Topping
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick spray
Beans
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Bake in the oven until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes, for approximately 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.

Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Add the half-and-half and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

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