Tuesday, December 29, 2015

World's Best Green Bean Mushroom Casserole (SCRATCH - No Cans) - 52 Holiday Side Dishes

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The world famous green bean casserole... The star of the holiday table... Well, if not the star, at least the ubiquitous Green bean Casserole.  Invented to mostly make green beans edible to 8 year old picky eaters who hate anything green.  Just add those crispy canned onions and they would eat at least a couple bites.

As they (OK, we... OK Even more, ME)... As I got older, I was allowed to not put green beans on my plate and I transferred the space on my plate  to extra dressing, mashed potatoes and even eventually Cranberry Sauce.

And now, it was the only dish on my Holiday buffet that mostly came out of a can (Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup and Canned Crispy Onions).

There had to be a better way.

Well, thanks to Panko Bread Crumbs and Caramelized Onions, I was able to get a very good substitute for the canned Onions.

And thanks to an Alfredo hinted Shiitake Mushroom thick sauce (with Cajun SPices), I more than made up for the canned goods.

This is the side that will have people talking.  Sure there will be the historical purest that just will not accept a substitute for the canned onions (no one ever misses the canned soup, but the onions always seem to be a bit of contention).  But for the food purest that come to your table because you have the best, most interesting dishes... This is the WINNER!

A wonderful dish worthy of a Holiday and deserves a spot on your regular food rotation...

ENJOY and Merry Christmas!

 OK... Here's what I did...

World's Best Green Bean Mushroom Casserole (SCRATCH - No Cans)

  • FOR THE CRISPY TOPPING (Part 1) - 2 Medium Sweet onions, Thinly SLiced
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • FOR THE BEANS AND SAUCE - THE BEANS - 1-1/2 Pounds Fresh Green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 TBS Sea Salt
  • FOR THE SAUCE - 4 TBS Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 Pound Shiitake Mushrooms, Large Slices
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TBS Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 TBS Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • FOR THE CRISPY TOPPING (Part 2) - 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Small Diced Mushroom
Cooking Directions
  1. FOR THE CRISPY ONION TOPPING - About 45 minutes before you assemble the casserole, in a medium size saute pan, melt the butter for the crispy topping. Add the sliced onions and saute over medium low heat for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. After about 30 minutes you will see the onions begin to turn a brown caramel color (the onions are starting to caramelize. Continue to saute over the low heat until that color becomes more pronounced.
  2. FOR THE BEANS - About 15 minutes before you are ready to assemble the casserole, just as the onions begin to color, Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  3. FOR THE SAUCE - Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 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 for 1 minute. Add the 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, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the spices and Parmesan Cheese, stir to mix. Add the Beans and mix to coat. You can transfer to a baking casserole dish or simple spread evenly in the cast iron skillet.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. BACK TO THE CRISPY ONION TOPPING - Add the mushrooms to the now caramelized onions, cook for about 1 minute to heat. Then add the bread crumbs and stir to evenly coat.
  7. Sprinkle the coated onion mix over the coated green beans.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the onion topping gets crispy, Golden Brown and Delicious!,  Best served HOT right from the oven but you can tightly cover with aluminum foil and let sit for up to 30 minutes before you need to reheat.
  9. Serve HOT and ENJOY


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!


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