Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Upgrade on the Classic

 My mother didn't make green bean casserole. There - that skeleton is finally out of the closet.

I never had this stuff until I was at least college age, and possibly older, so it wasn't part of the set of memories or beloved dishes that appeared on our holiday tables. I honestly can't remember exactly where I was when I first encountered it, but I do have to say I wasn't enamoured. The onions on top were ok, but tasted artifical (I think the canned ones might be), and while creamy mushroom sauce is usually terrific on anything, the beans had been frozen and the texure was just not lovely.

A few years ago I started experimenting with recipes that typically used canned or prepackaged ingredients, among them the cream of mushroom soup that really is rather indispensible in so many casseroles. I came up with a way to make a really quick and easy mushroom sauce that I started throwing in all kinds of dishes. It just tastes better. Don't get me wrong - I keep the canned soup in my own pantry. But if I have fresh mushrooms, and I usually do, than I much prefer making the quick sauce than popping the top on the canned stuff. And fresh vegetable are always better than frozen or canned ones. The result for this casserole is so much better tasting - so much creamier and satisfying, that the few extra steps are well worth it. Give this version a try - I'm pretty confident you'll decide this one is the new comfort food you want on your table!

 

Ingredients

 You'll Need:

For the Onion Topping:

  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the Casserole:

  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, for garnish
  •  

Directions

 

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.     To make the onions for the topping, combine the onion slices, flour, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat.

3.     In a large skillet over medium heat, heat vegetable oil. Sauté onions until golden, about ten minutes. Remove onions from skillet and set aside.

4.     While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare an ice water bath. Season the water with salt, and add green beans. Cook beans until tender but still crispy, about five minutes. Drain beans and immediately place in ice water bath. Allow green beans to chill fully, then drain and set aside.

5.     In a large skillet over medium high heat, add vegetable oil, and sauté onions, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté onions for three minutes.

6.     Add the chicken broth and thyme, and bring mixture up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until nearly all the liquid is gone, about ten minutes.

7.     Turn off heat, and add half and half and sour cream. Whisk well to combine. Pour mushroom mixture over green beans.

8.     Transfer green bean mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through and beginning to bubble at the edges. Place onions on top of casserole, and cook an additional five minutes. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

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