November 27, 2011

Casserole Series #2: Holiday Green Bean Casserole

I bet you thought I forgot about my casserole series, didn't you???? Well, I didn't. We just hadn't had any good casseroles pop up on the menu plan lately. I decided to bust this one out just in time for Thanksgiving. You're welcome!!!

This is my favorite green bean casserole recipe. It is traditional enough to satisfy the typical, holiday green bean casserole requirement...but with a twist. I loosely based this concoction on a side dish recipe that my friend, Dani gave to me a few years ago. I say loosely because I meant to follow Dani's recipe, but I got a little sidetracked. Usually, when preparing something from an actual recipe, I start out with the right intention. I want to make the dish as it is written--I really do---but it sometimes doesn't work out that way. I don't have patience for reading directions or ingredients lists thoroughly. I typically miss something, or I don't have something I need on hand, or I have something else that needs to be used up. Yeah, that's just how it goes most of the time, AND that is exactly what happened in this case. I had the caramelized onions to use up and I was out of some of the other "casserole" ingreidents. I decided to go ahead and make my own spin on this classic recipe and, thankfully, it was delicious. Whew!

Casserole Series #2: Holiday Green Bean Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons AP flour
1 cup milk (more if needed to thin the sauce)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. of shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese (I used a combo of both)
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of caramelized onions
2-3 small bags of frozen green beans, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup cracker crumbs (I used butter crackers, such as Ritz)
1 cup of fried, dried onion topping
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in cracker crumbs, until all are coated. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of AP flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the flour is starting to turn a light beige color. Add milk and whisk continually until thickened, making a roux. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese. Once cheese is melted, remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Add additional milk if needed to thin out a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add thawed green beans to a large bowl. Combine with caramelized onions. Add cheese sauce. Top with cracker crumb mixture. Add an additional layer of dried/fried onion topping over the cracker crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve and enjoy!

The Result:
Yummy green bean casserole goodness!

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