RSS

Tag Archives: green bean casserole

A Classic Side Dish From a Master – Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

You wouldn’t think there would be too much that you can actually do to change up this holiday classic, so when I noticed Alton Brown’s recipe for green bean casserole I had to check out what makes it so different from the classic you see on holiday tables each year. The biggest difference really is that everything is made from scratch. No canned fried onions, no cream of mushroom soup, no canned french green beans. I have nothing against the traditional way many people make this dish, but for me personally if you can use all fresh ingredients without preservatives and such that go into canned products, you are much better off and the taste will be a lot better. I made this dish for our Christmas meal and it was well worth the extra effort to put into it.

Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

For the topping:

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Nonstick cooking spray

For the beans and sauce:

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons butter

12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the onions, flour, panko bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until they are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 or 3 times during the cooking process to ensure they brown evenly. Once they are done, remove the onions from the oven and set them aside so that they are ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the green beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the green beans and blanch the beans for 5 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the beans and set them aside.

Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release some of their liquid, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook the mixture for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the casserole is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve.

I have tried different recipes for this casserole before, but I think this one had the freshest taste of any I have made. I have never been a big fan of the canned condensed soups, so I was glad for the fresh mushrooms and half-and-half. I think this recipe had much better flavor than any others i have tried and it was definitely worth a little extra effort. Making your onions was quick and easy and they tasted great. The onions would be ideal just for burgers, let alone this casserole. I will definitely make this again, and not just for holiday meals.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

011

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Cooking, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Some Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Okay, so Sunday we did the turkey and stuffing, yesterday we did the soup, today we’ll do some side dishes. I wanted to choose some classic sides but maybe try something a little different with them, and I ended up choosing both of these recipes from Cook’s Country. The first takes the traditional sweet potato casserole and makes it a little differently. I am not a fan of marshmallow and didn’t want to make something that was going to use them and this recipe seems just perfect and it is not hard to make.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon-Brown Sugar Topping

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

5 slices bacon

4 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay two 24 by 12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil perpendicular to each other inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the sweet potatoes in the center of the foil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Fold opposite sides of the foil toward each other and crimp edges to seal tightly. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 60 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and heat the broiler.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it into bite-size pieces. Pulse the bacon and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses; set aside.

Carefully open 1 end of the foil pouch, taking care to avoid escaping steam, and pout the potatoes and accumulated liquid into the food processor. Add the butter, cream, orange zest and juice, salt cinnamon, pepper and cayenne and process until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Transfer the potato puree to a 2-quart souffle dish and sprinkle evenly with the reserved bacon-sugar mixture. Broil the sweet potatoes until the topping is lightly browned and bubbling, about 2 to 4 minutes.

You can make part of this ahead of time to save you time on Thanksgiving. The processed potatoes can be refrigerated without the topping for up to 2 days. To serve it, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack of a 400 degree oven until hot throughout, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil, add the bacon-sugar topping and broil as directed.

I think it is going to turn out quite nicely and I’ll be sure to take some pictures of it so you can see it on Thursday.

My second recipe frees up some stove or oven space for you by making good use of your slow cooker. it is a version of the classic green bean casserole, but made using the slow cooker to make things a little easier for you along the way.

Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole

1 cup canned fried onions

3 tablespoons butter

10 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Salt and pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 slices white bread, torn into pieces

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups canned fried onions

To make the sauce, pulse the canned onions in a food processor until finely ground; set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and ground onions and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and the cream and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.

Combine the sauce and the green beans in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, 5 to 6 hours.

Meanwhile, pulse the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Toast the bread crumbs and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Top the green beans with bread-crumb mixture and serve.

You can also start making this ahead of time as well to save you some effort on Thanksgiving. The sauce and the topping can be made and refrigerated in separate airtight containers for 2 days. To finish it, microwave the sauce, covered, for 1 minute before proceeding with slow cooking. Crisp the bread-crumb mixture in a skillet before topping and serving.

I like the idea of using the slow cooker, but I also like the not using canned green beans or cream of mushroom soup to make it. Personally, I am not a big fan of canned vegetables and soups. If you like them better, stick with what you like, but I think giving the freshness is worth the little bit of extra time it takes to prep everything.

Okay, so we almost have a complete meal for Thursday. Tomorrow, I am going to talk a little bit about some appetizers and a dessert to round out the meal if you want to check back and see. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

a blog to share with you the best

%d bloggers like this: