My first green bean casserole

I’ve wanted to make a from-scratch green bean casserole for a long time. I don’t remember liking it much as a child; maybe it was too salty or I didn’t like the onions, but wanted to give it a try now. While searching Thanksgiving recipes, I came across one that featured mushrooms and fried onions. It looked easy and has only a few ingredients. Perfect!

I was worried about making the cream sauce, but it was very simple. The key is spices, since the cream base can be bland. If cayenne pepper is too hot, just use a little or use cumin perhaps.

I keep getting fresh beans from my CSA, so I tried this recipe. I think it was my favorite food I had for Thanksgiving. It was so good, I made it again when I got another delivery from my farm.

Creamy Green Beans with Fried Onions

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds green beans
  • 2 quarts cream (I used Silk Creamer the second time and it worked great)
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces fried onions
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot of salty-tasting water to a rolling boil and blanch the beans for about 20 seconds. Quickly drain them and transfer the hot beans to a bowl of ice water to cool down quickly. When cold, drain again and set aside.
  2. Heat the cream at a gentle simmer in a heavy bottomed pot and reduce it to just less than half its original volume, being careful not to scorch the cream or let it boil over. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. Slice mushrooms In a large pan, heat the olive oil until shimmering and add mushrooms. Jostle the pan so they fall into a single layer, and allow to caramelize by searing undisturbed for a minute or 2. (If the mushrooms don’t fit in one layer in the pan, remove some and do this in batches.) Now toss the mushrooms around to finish browning on all sides, then remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  4. Make a roux by heating up the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat and whisking in the flour. Keep whisking it until it is golden brown all over, then slowly whisk in the reduced cream. Once the cream has come up to a boil, remove from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic.
  5. Toss the cream mixture with the beans and mushrooms and place in a roasting pan. Top with fried onions and bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning.

What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

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