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Green Bean Casserole

In the Annie the Porcupine series, we explore Annie's favorite foods, ranging from the unique Asparagus Tacos to the comforting Molasses Milk. These flavors serve as a nostalgic journey to my own childhood, where Grandma's Carrot Cake, Aunt Dorothy's Carrot Soup, and Dad's Molasses Milk hold a special place in my heart.

Yet, amidst my childhood favorites, there's a special dish that found a place in Annie's favorites, not from my past but from my husband's - Green Bean Casserole. A staple at holiday gatherings and family events, my husband faithfully upholds his mom's tradition by following the recipe on the back of the French's Fried Onion Canister. It's a dish that carries a comforting aroma, and creates a sense of anticipation and delight during family occasions.  

However, being a culinary adventurer, I couldn't resist exploring with some fresh twists on this classic. While the traditional recipe calls for canned ingredients, I wanted to experiment with fresh alternatives.  

Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces (the French's recipe asks for 2 cans of green beans, which would work for this recipe if needed).

6 Slices of Bacon – Crispy and Crumbled (This isn't in French's recipe, but bacon always makes everything better).

1 C Sliced Mushrooms (I like Shitake, but oyster or baby bella are milder tasting).

3 Cloves of Garlic - Minced

1 Small onion – Diced

1 C Shredded Cheese (One suggestion is Swiss, but I prefer Cheddar)

1 C Vegetable Broth (You can also use chicken, but I prefer Vegetable)

1 C Whole Milk (The fat in whole milk makes for a creamier casserole, you can use lower fat but you won't have the same texture)

2 T Butter

2 T Flour

1 C Crispy Fried Onions (Homemade Recipe below)

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Green Bean Casserole Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 375.

2.       Blanch the green beans

a.       To do this you boil in salted water for 5 minutes, immediately drain and the pour in a bath of ice water.

3.       In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, sauteing until soft.

4.       Add flour and stir well to combine. Cook for 3 minutes.

5.       Whisk in broth and then milk. Keep whisking until mixture thickens.

6.       Whisk in cheese and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.       Add the blanched green beans, and bacon stirring until they are well coated.

8.       Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

9.       Remove and sprinkle crispy fried onions over the top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes until the onions are golden brown.

10.   Allow casserole to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Crispy Onion Ingredients

2 Large Onions

1 C Buttermilk

1 C Flour

1 t Salt

½ t Pepper

Vegetable Oil to Fry (I used 2 cups)

Crispy Onion Instructions:

1.       Thinly slice onions, separate the rings and place them in bowl.

2.       Pour the buttermilk over the onions and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes (the longer you leave them the better flavor)

3.       In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper.

4.       Take each soaked onion ring, allow excess buttermilk to drip off, and then coat in the flour mixture. Make sure onions are well coated.

5.       Heat the oil in a pan to 350 degrees.

6.       Fry the onions in batches until golden brown and crispy (Usually 2 to 3 minutes)

7.       Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions, allow excess oil to drain. Place on a paper-towel lined plate to cool and crisp.

8.       Store in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for a few days.

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