Recipe by The Spice Guru
My late paternal grandmother's recipe for green beans au gratin is a family favorite. Recipe may be halved and baked in slightly less time in an 8 x 8 baking dish (remember to use exactly half of all listed ingredients!).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs fresh cut green beans
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
- 1⁄2 cup salted butter
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- 1 (5 ounce) jarsharp cheese spread (KRAFT Old English)
- 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 (2 7/8 ounce) can French's French fried onions
Directions See How It's Made
- WASH and de-string green beans; BLOT dry; SLICE off bean ends; CUT green beans to 2 1/2 inches in length; PREHEAT oven to 350°F; LIGHTLY butter a 2.5 quart dish or 9x13 baking dish; PLACE oven rack in center position; PREP the remaining saute ingredients (snip the bacon using kitchen shears, into small pieces); SHRED 12 ounces (3 cups) sharp cheddar cheese and set aside.
- INTO a 3 quart heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil; ADD the chopped bacon, onion, mushrooms, minced parsley, minced garlic, SAUTE until onions have softened and mushrooms deepen in color.
- ADD green beens; STIR in celery salt and fresh ground pepper; COVER and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until green beans are crisp-tender and slightly lighter in color.
- MELT 1/2 cup butter in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium heat; STIR in 1/2 cup flour and cook slowly until bubbly but not browned.
- COMBINE the half and half with the wine, then add the seasonings and whisk (mustard powder, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper); POUR mixture into roux while whisking constantly; COOK until fully thickened.
- REMOVE from heat; STIR in the contents of one jar Kraft Old English sharp cheese spread, and 2 cups of the grated cheese until cheeses are melted and sauce is creamy.
- FOLD the green bean saute mixture into cheese sauce until blended, without over-mixing (mixture will be thick); SPREAD mixture into prepared baking dish.
- PLACE casserole into preheated 350°F oven; BAKE for 25 minutes.
- SPREAD the 1 cup remaining shredded cheddar cheese over top of casserole; TOP casserole evenly with parmesan cheese, then one 2.8 ounce can French's French Fried Onions; BAKE casserole for 2-3 additional minutes just until cheese is melted and onion topping is golden browned (be careful not to burn onion topping!); LET set slightly before serving.
- SERVE and enjoy!