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Improvement on green bean casserole?

I'm in charge of making green bean casserole for thanksgiving and our family has always had the traditional recipe off the back of the French's fried onion container. I added some garlic to it last year and everyone liked it, but I was thinking of changing it up a little more. I thought about using fresh green beans instead of canned, but I don't know if that would work with the creamy texture and I'm not sure how they would bake up. Has anyone tried it or does anyone have other suggestions to dress up green bean casserole?

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  1. Fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms. Sautee the mushrooms and make a bechamel sauce fold that all together and top with caramelized shallots.

    1. I made the one from Sara Moulton's cookbook a while back and it was pretty good... basically like Candy says, except it did have some cheese in it to make it more creamy. If I were doing it again, I would make actual fried onion rings to top it... you can't really go wrong with real onion rings!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Katie Nell

        The real onion rings just don't taste as delicious as the French's in this dish.

      2. We tried making that dish with good fresh green beans one year and it wasn't as good. Weird.

        1. Fresh green beans are good, but many prefer the taste and texture of frozen. They are not as firm as fresh, but not as waterlogged as the canned. I like to substitute sour cream in placed of the canned cream of mushroom soup.
          The thought of replacing the friend onions is sacrilege,IMVHO.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kelli2006

            Do you think a combo of sour cream and the cream of mushroom soup would be nice, or a flavor disaster?

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I second the recommendation of frozen green beans.

              1. re: sugarbuzz

                I always wanted to try this recipe but never got around to it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  I was also going to recommend this one. I saw him make that with his two guest chefs and I thought it looked really good (as did that shrimp mac & cheese the other guy made).

                  1. re: SarahEats

                    I agree! I think the mac & cheese sounds really good too!

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      Someday soon I think I'll make the shrimp mac & cheese and the green bean casserole for Sunday dinner. I'll let you know how they turn out. :)

                  2. re: Katie Nell

                    I actually made that one last year, but I don't think it was really worth it! Too much work for not a tasty enough effect. (I'm not easily daunted, but it was just kind of disappointing to me)
                    I don't remember brandy or cognac, though-- maybe I left something out!