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My sister-in-law told me about this version of green bean casserole. This is a great recipe made with fresh ingredients!
- 4 slices white bread, each slice torn into quarters
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 oz.)
- 2 lbs green beans, ends trimmed and halved
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lb white button mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean, and broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 one-second pulses. Transfer to large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 qts. of water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add two tbls. salt and the green beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
- Add butter to now-empty Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/8 teaspoons pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in even layer in 3 quart (or 13 x 9") baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown ans sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
- To prepare ahead: Store breadcrumb topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator and combine with the onion just before cooking. Combine the beans and cooled sauce in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, remove plastic wrap and heat casserole in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then add the topping and bake as directed. This recipe can be halved and baked in a 2 quart (or 8" square) baking dish. Reduce cooking time of the sauce in Step 3 to about 6 minutes and the baking time in Step 4 to 10 minutes.
Really awesome green bean casserole, however, extremely time consuming. If I was to ever make it again I would only slice the mushrooms to save time. If you have to only bring one dish this is a winner. I just had so many other things to make that were more important to do this one again along with the rest of T-day meal.
Update: I swore I wouldn't make this again this year. I was begged to do it again so here is what I did to help out with time. I made it the weekend before Thanksgiving minus the topping and wrapped it in saran wrap & foil and froze it. I also made the topping Thanksgiving eve. On T Day I just left the casserole on the counter to thaw it out and added the topping to cook. It turned out just as good and saved hours of valuable time during a busy day. Now with a baby on the way I swear it won't be making it again next year. :-)
Though there is a bit of prep to this recipe, it is well worth it. I grew up with my mother cooking canned green beans and canned soup dumped in a bowl, mixed, salt and peppered, topped with dried onions and baked. Although it was good at the time, and is still a staple in a great number of homes, I wanted something with a little more effort. It must be said, however, the fat content is greatly increased with use of butter and cream, but if made for special occasions, well...<br/><br/>Snipping fresh green beans gives one time to reflect, and there are plenty of other things to do while cooking them. If you have the right tools and bowls, the ice bath is not that big of a deal. <br/><br/>Take the time to make this recipe with fresh green beans, and you will likely never go back to the canned process.
This was great! Everyone asked to take home the leftovers from Easter dinner. I don't like mushrooms so I just made 3 lbs of green beans. I think next time I will also add a little parmesan to the topping.