Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

There are a few items I miss after cutting out processed foods (at least most of them).  Sometimes it's not so much the item, it's what you use the item to make.  I've always been a fan of green bean casserole, but Wes is not, so I haven't been tempted to make it very often.  Add to that the processed soups and it's just something I've had to wipe out of my cooking repertoire.  That is until I finally got around to making this Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole on How Sweet It Is.  
Holy cow!  It's every bit as delicious as I remember and even better because of the fresh ingredients.  I really appreciate the freshness of the green beans and mushrooms to really provide a good solid base for the dish.  One thing I recall about the Campbell's version was the mushiness of it.  It basically all just globbed together, but not so with this one.  I'd highly recommend adding this to your holiday table, or just a weeknight meal like we did.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  
Lighted Up Green Bean Casserole
Click here for a printable recipe!
1 lb fresh cut green beans or haricot vert
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 T. butter
8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T flour
1/2-3/4 cup no-chicken chicken broth (Imagine brand)
1/2 cup low-fat half-and-half
pinch nutmeg
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko crumbs
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over low heat and add olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt.  Stir well to coat, then cover and cook until onions are caramely, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally - you may need to turn up your heat a bit if the onions are starting to change color.  While onions are caramelized, boil a large pot of water.  Once boiling, add green beans and cook 4-5 minutes, then drain and run cold water over top, letting sit in the sink to air dry until you're ready to use.
Once onions are caramelized, remove to a bowl for later use.  Add butter to skillet, then add chopped mushrooms and toss well to coat.  Cook for 6-8 minutes, until juicy and soft, then add in half of the onions and the garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Increase heat to medium-high and sprinkle flour over top.  Stir well to coat and distribute, cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Pour in broth and half-and-half.  Stirring constantly, let mixture come to a bubble, then let it cook 2-3 minutes until just slightly thickened.  You don't want it too thick since it will continue to cook and thicken in the oven.  Season with remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and then stir in 1 T. Parmesan cheese.  Add green beans and toss well to coat.
Cover the top with remaining onions, panko, and remaining tablespoon of cheese.  Bake, uncovered, about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and bread crumbs are toasted.  
Serves 4-6
Halved fromHow Sweet It Is (adapted from Alton Brown)

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