Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 7, 2005 11:57 AM

Green bean casserole -- updated?

  • y

I need to bring the green bean casserole to a friends' pre-Thanksgiving feast. I admit I love the old-fangled version with the fried onions on top, but I'm looking for an update. I think I saw a recipe on a cooking show last year that calls for the same *types* of ingredients (mushrooms, frizzled onions on top) but makes it without the ubiquitous cream of mushroom soup.

Would you share a recipe that fits the bill?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wanted to do the same thing lastyear, so... I made my own fried onion rings.(I have to admit the canned ones are tastier.)For the sauce...I made a white sauce from scratch and added fresh mushrooms. Same recipe, just more homemade.

    1. Michael Chiarello did an updated version last year. I tried it and thought it needed a little oomph in flavor... maybe could have been a little creamier too. It was pretty good though... pain to fry all the onions!


      1. n
        Niki Rothman

        Right! Get the nicest, smallest green beans you can, French cut them, and briefly blanch.
        Saute' plenty of shallots and garlic (do not brown) in unsweetened butter.
        Saute' lots of sliced mushrooms (flavorful wild type would be great mixed with button, but not porcini - too strong)in butter and o.o. combo (so you can fry at a higher temp without burning the butter), sprinkle with soy sauce (makes fried mushrooms taste beefier - carmelizes them)- DO brown them.
        Combine all the above with sour cream, cracked pepper and salt, and top with those canned French fried onions (a good product)
        Bake at 325 for about a half hour.
        I just made this recipe up in my head, but it's something I'm planning on making for Thanksgiving myself. My main concern is the possibility that the sour cream might curdle. I have a couple of ideas, besides the low temp, to prevent this: to mix the
        sour cream with either a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup or mayo. But I'd rather not. I'd love to hear how you work it out. Please follow-up post after you cook your own.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Niki Rothman

          Hey, yumyum - hot tip is to use creme fraiche, which won't curdle. The quick-and-dirty way to get this is to mix sweet and sour cream 50-50 and let it sit covered (with a clean dishtowel, not plastic) at room temp for a few hours. Dunno why it works, but it does.

          1. re: Will Owen
            Niki Rothman

            I don't know if you're just being friendly, or mistaking me for a poster named yumyum. But in any case, thanks for the really fine tip! I have a feeling real creme fraiche may be a completely different item, but if your method works, I'll be using it in place of SC when concerned about potential curdling. Certainly it would be tastier than either canned soup or mayo.

            1. re: Niki Rothman

              Sorry - "yumyum" was the handle on the response I was responding to...if that's at all clear.

              Got that creme fraiche recipe from a Julia Child book, which validates it beyond any doubt as far as I'm concerned!

            2. re: Will Owen

              My chowmom makes creme fraiche like this all the time, but she *does* loosely cover with plastic and lets it sit on top of the fridge for 24 hours. Then give it a stir and put in the fridge.

              I find there's little that wont be improved by a dollop of cf -- I spoon it into beef stew to approximate stroganoff, stir into scrambled eggs to make them creamy and tangy and swirl into soups especially at this time of year.

              Great reminder. No matter what I end up doing, I'll be using some elixir of the dairy gods.

              1. re: yumyum
                Niki Rothman

                I love it when I find out how to get hold of a product I've heard about but never used, this is great! I guess I just never saw it in a store, and had no idea it was so easy to make. This is going to live in my fridge from now on as soon as I can get the makings.
                Kudos to you & Mr. Owen.

                1. re: Niki Rothman

                  Just to muddy the waters and eat more bandwidth, let me add that you can do it with sweet cream and plain yogurt, too...

            3. re: Niki Rothman

              I have a green bean casserole recipe that includes sour cream, and I've never had it curdle. I think you'd be OK stirring in the sour cream right before the whole thing goes into the oven.

            4. I'm probably just going to recycle my mom's recipe for what she called "Green Beans Aw Grotten" - well, she'd never taken French. Anyway, it's green beans cooked until just tender, then masked in an ordinary white-sauce-based cheese sauce and finished in the oven. I'll use a very sharp cheddar and add some dry mustard and a dash of Worcestershire to the sauce. The frizzled onions on top would go very well indeed with this.

              1. If you have access to Cook's Illustrated there is a recipe from 02/05.

                8 Replies
                1. re: DT

                  Got it. Is it any good?

                  1. re: yumyum

                    I haven't made it yet. It was on their website, and not in their magazine.

                    I'll post the ingredients, and paraphrase the rest if you want.

                    1. re: DT

                      I'd appreciate it. Their exruciating testing and versioning always results in the best outcome I think.

                      1. re: yumyum

                        Green Bean Casserole

                        All the components of this dish can be cooked ahead of time. The assembled casserole needs only 15 minutes in a 375-degree oven to warm through and brown.

                        Serves 8 to 10


                        4 slices white sandwich bread white crust, each slice torn into quarters
                        2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
                        1/4 teaspoon table salt
                        1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
                        3 cups onions can fried (about 6 ounces)


                        table salt
                        2 pounds green bean fresh, ends trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
                        1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
                        6 tablespoons unsalted butter
                        1 medium onion minced
                        3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
                        12 ounces white button mushroom wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
                        12 ounces cremini mushroom wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
                        2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaf minced
                        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                        2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                        1 cup chicken stock homemade, or canned low-sodium broth
                        2 cups heavy cream

                        (paraphrased directions)

                        Topping: In food processor, pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper to achieve coarse crumbs. Toss with onions in a bowl and set aside.

                        Beans: Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Into 4 quarts of boiling water add 2 tbls salt and green beans. Cook 4-5 minutes until a bit crunchy, place into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and dry.

                        Cover porcini with 1/2 cup hot water, cover bowl with vented plastic wrap and microwave about 30 seconds. Let sit about 5 minutes until softened. Remove mushrooms and mince. Strain liquid and reserve.

                        In large nonstick pan melt butter until foaming subsides. Add onion, garlic, button and cremini mushrooms cooking just until mushrooms release their moisture about 2 minutes. Add porcini and their liquid, thyme, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tbls - 5 minutes. Add flour cooking about one minute. Reduce heat to medium, stir in stock, stir in cream, simmer gently about 15 minutes or until consistency of dense soup.

                        Spread beans in 3 qt baking dish, add mushroom mixture and toss to coat beans. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over, bake until nicely browned, about 15 minutes.

                        1. re: DT

                          Thanks very much for paraphrasing and posting.

                  2. re: DT

                    I looked thru my stack of Cooks Illustrated last night. It's not in the Jan/Feb 05 issue -- drat!

                    I did find a recipe on epicurious that sounds good, and very rich, with cream, butter and madiera. Just what I'm looking for in this once a year comfort dish.

                    Thanks all for the suggestions.


                    1. re: DT

                      are you sure its this year - they published such a recipe a few years back. Cream not sour cream I think.

                      1. re: DT

                        are you sure its this year - they published such a recipe a few years back. Cream not sour cream I think.