Last Minute Entry — Stringbean Casserole

This is not your mother’s green bean casserole, no cans of cream of mushroom soup here. Not that there’s anything wrong with it but I think this is a tastier, tad healthier variation on a theme. Of course there is still butter and cream and would it be a holiday casserole without all that?  In any event I pulled this off the Food Network a while ago and it is from Alton Brown. Looks pretty easy and it starts with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms, and real deal onions. If you don’t want to use the real-deal onions skip this step and use the French Fried Onions in the Can — they really are tasty and I won’t tell a soul. I actually think this would taste really good in here –just saying. Just buy 2 large cans they come in 6 oz. cans you’ll want 2 just to be sure. Then you can totally skip making onion rings.

Topping (onion rings)

*this is the part you can skip if you use canned French fried onions . French’s makes the best ones. Buy 2 6 oz. cans so you’ll have enough.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons panko seasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Non-stick Cooking Spray like Pam

Beans:

1 lb. fresh string beans , rinsed and trimmed

1 gallon water

2 tbsp. kosher salt

Sauce:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2 ” pieces ( regular white button mushrooms or cremini)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth or vegetable

1 cup half and half

Directions:

For onion topping:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with Pam Spray and evenly spread the onions in the pan. Bake in the oven until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes, for app. 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Now if you want to skip this step you can use the French Fried Onions in the can. Just please use fresh string beans. No judgements here at all.

Lower heat in oven to 400 degrees. If you’re not making your own onion rings just preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the beans, Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil . Blanch beans for app. 5 minutes , you’ll want them bright green. Drain in a colander and I plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12″ skillet over medium high heat. Saute the mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook , stirring occasionally. About 5 minutes till mushrooms give up some of their liquid. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 – 2 minutes . Sprinkle 2 tbsp. flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Add the broth and simmer for another minute or so, add the half and half and cook until mixture thickens. About 8-10 minutes over low heat.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions ( whichever you’re using) and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove and serve.

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