Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Its a freakin breeze being a green bean casserole.

NUMMY! I like the reflection in the pan. I'm so artsy. :)
Lady's and Gents, this is one of my all time favorite things. I don't mean favorite foods, I mean favorite THINGS. I LOOOOOOOUUUUUUVVVVVE green bean casserole, really I would eat it every day. Creamy mushroom sauce, tender green beans, finished off with crispy onions, that's a mouth full of happy right there. I'm sure people exist who don't enjoy the GBC but I choose not to believe that. I've heard rumor of people that don't enjoy chocolate, which just HAS to be a lie. What's next, people who don't like good sex or laughing?

Green bean casserole takes me back to a time I hated all vegetables. Wouldn't touch them unless enticed by some fried chicken finger and/or nugget. Yet every Thanksgiving I welcomed a heaping scoop of green bean casserole on my plate. Sure it was mostly cream of mushroom soup and french's onions, but still I took immense pride that on Thanksgiving, the holiday of gluttony, my favorite indulgence actually had vegetables in it. It was only when I went to college I learned green bean casserole was a southern dish and not a staple on every Thanksgiving menu. I quickly introduced the wonder that is the cheap and easy green bean casserole to my friends still not knowing how incredible REAL made from scratch green bean casserole tasted. First I switched to fresh green beans, and will never pick up a can of green beans again. (I mean I might, but I'm trying to make a point here.) Then I figured out the sauce, but was still relying on those french's crunchy onion rings, which seem to be mostly batter. I know they are delicious, and lets just say I've eaten more than one can sitting in front of the TV watching Buffy or something equally awesome, but they are nothing but junk. Making your own onions is surprisingly easy and just, if not more, crunchy and tasty.

My point sweet readers, is this is a traditional southern dish, that EVERYONE should try. And if you are going to make it, best make it from scratch. No canned green beans or french fried onions here. Nope fresh vegetables, flour and cream make this dish heavenly, without adding icky chemicals to your body. This is often a side dish as it uses a cup of half and half, so is fairly rich. Using fresh green beans, onions and mushrooms increases the nutritional value of this dish, but it's not what I would call healthy. I would call it an instant hit at potlucks and the way to a person's heart. Or stomach at the very least. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Onions coated with flour
Onions baked and crispy. No eating yet!
Mushrooms sautéing
Simmering in broth
Getting creamy in half and half
Bring all your ingredients together, bake and serve!
Green Bean Casserole
Based on Alton Brown's No your mommas green bean casserole.
This time, Im not dreaming. It's really here!
The Goods: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

2 meduim onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Non stick spray

The Sauce: 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

The Green Beans: 
1 pound green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 gallon of water
2 tablespoons kosher salt. 

The Deal: 
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine onions, panko flour, and salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with non stick spray and evenly spread out onions. Bake until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes, for approximately 30 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and set aside until ready to use. Once you remove the onions turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees. 

2. While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Fill a bowl with ice and water aka make an ice bath. Bring a gallon of water to a boil with two tablespoons of salt. Blanch aka boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately put beans in the ice bath to stop cooking. Once cool, drain and set aside.

3. Now to make your sauce! Melt the butter in a large saute pan (that can also be used in the oven) over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for one minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Add the half and half, stir and cook until the mixture thickens, around 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the green beans and 1/4 of the onions. Top with remaining onions. Bake in saute pan at 400 degrees until bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately. 


  1. ooooh! believe it or not, i had GBC for the very first time this Christmas at my boyfriend's parents house and it was INSANE. How have I been on the planet 27 (almost 28) years and never had this before? how? how??? anyway, I'm making this this weekend for my boyfriend :) thanks Cous!


  2. Let me know how it goes! And also if I forgot to include any directions/steps. I am so glad you have now discovered it because honestly I CANNOT get enough. This is the best basic recipe I have found, I mean I found jazzier recipes, but with green bean casserole I like traditional all the way :) Enjoy it!