Offbeat Green Bean Casserole
A friend is having a small Easter supper and has asked each person to bring a dish. I ended up being requested to bring "green bean casserole." Personally, I've never enjoyed green bean casserole. As the theme of the whole day is eccentric, I think if I showed up with a non-traditional green bean casserole, it would go over just fine.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
What I'm trying to avoid is that soggy, mushroom soup dish that I remember from childhood. It always reminded me of a bowl of mush with some fried onions that I'd try to pick off and eat.
Thanks for your help!
I've made an Italian green bean dish with sauteed garlic,onions,and tomatoes. And we like to do green beans by cooking some bacon,cooking some onions and mushrooms in the bacon grease,dump the green beans in and let it all cook together for a bit. For this I use our home canned Kentucky Wonder green beans.
I agree with you about the green bean casserole. I had never seen such a varmint until the first holiday at my husband's mother's. It frightened me then,over 40 years ago and it still scares me.Cook what sounds good to you and what you had the time to make. You'll do fine.
This is the one my family expects every holiday.
Fabulous Green Bean Casserole
If you make this green bean casserole, I don't believe you will ever make the one with the mushroom soup in it that everyone makes for Thanksgiving.
3 can Blue Lake cut green beans, drained (I use whole green beans)
1 10-oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ pound shredded cheddar cheese (I use 3 large handfuls)
1 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon MSG, optional (I use Accent)
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (I use about 4-5 shakes out of the bottle)
1 8-oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (I use 4-oz)
Put drained beans in a baking dish. Place chopped water chestnuts on top of beans. Sauté mushrooms and onion in ½ cup butter. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Add black pepper and MSG. Measure milk and cream into 2 cup measuring cup; add soy sauce, MSG, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce to milk; stir. Pour milk into flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Add cheese and stir to distribute. Pour over green beans in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. You can actually cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time or vice versa; just watch and do not let get real brown.
You can top with bread or cracker crumbs in you like. This makes a wonderfully tasty leftover. Also, you can make this the day before, refrigerate, then pop into the oven when you are ready.
I came up with this for Thanksgiving last year. Don't know if it's offbeat, but it's an update using real food. Sorry about the lack of precise ingredients, I only wrote it down for myself. Yes, I often make bechamel in the oven, per old-school Joy of Cooking. And yes, reconstituting porcini in liquid that won't be filtered is some sort of cardinal sin. Oh well.
Green bean casserole
Enough green beans to fill an oval casserole, trimmed into bite-sized pieces
2 vidalia onions, chopped
About 3/4 pound mushrooms (think it was a mixture of hedgehog, chanterelles, and lobster), sliced
Small handful dried porcini
2 c. milk
1 shallot, minced
Crushed white pepper
1 clove, crushed to a powder
1 fresh bay leaf, torn
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
½ c. bread crumbs, buttered
Parmegiano-Reggiano, or other good hard grating cheese
1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add a couple tablespoons of minced shallot, the torn bay leaf, the nutmeg, clove, porcini, and the white pepper. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least an hour when the milk steams and small bubbles form around the edges.
2. Place the onion in a pan set over medium-low heat and gently caramelize with a bit of butter and oil. Sprinkle with salt when they’re about done.
3. Nuke the beans with a tablespoon of water and a bit of salt until just tender. Rinse to stop cooking and keep cold in a bowl of water.
4. Melt a bit of butter in a little olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add a tablespoon or so of minced shallot and the mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes, until tender but still a little firm. Season with salt about a minute before the mushrooms are done. Set aside a scoopful of mushrooms and dump the rest of the mixture in the food processor and pulse until you're happy.
5. When everything else is all ready to go, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and make your roux in small saucepan. Turn the roux into béchamel, add the mushroom mixture, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until nice and thick. Add a little salt and a splash of sherry.
6. Raise the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the beans out in the bottom of a casserole and pour the béchamel all over. Top with the reserved mushrooms, the caramelized onions and sprinkle the bread crumbs and cheese over everything. Bake until bubbly and browned.
Okay, this IS along the lines of the original traditional infamous "French's Green Bean Casserole" - mushroom soup & all - BUT it is my take on it & is always a big hit on Thanksgiving (which is really the only time I make it). Some might consider it a bit "eccentric" - at least when compared to the original - lol!
BREEZY GREEN BEAN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
1 pound package frozen whole green beans, thawed
6-8 fresh Shitake mushrooms
1-2 clusters Oyster mushrooms (or 1 cluster oyster mushrooms & 1 cluster Maitake mushrooms
6-8 Cremini mushrooms
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 can regular condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
¾ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream
1/3 cup dry sherry
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can French’s Original French Fried Onions
Preheat oven to 350.
Rinse & trim mushrooms (discard shitake stems or save for stock); slice. In a skillet large enough to hold all ingredients, melt butter & sauté mushrooms until they release their liquid & are “just” starting to brown a little. Stir in soup, half-&-half or cream, & sherry. Stir & simmer gently until mixture thickens a little, season to taste with salt & pepper, & gently fold in thawed green beans & approximately 1/3 can of fried onions. Transfer mixture to a baking dish (around 2-3 quart size) & bake for 20 minutes or until heated through, then top with remaining fried onions & continue baking for another 10 minutes or until onion topping is toasted a bit.