Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Growing up, green bean casserole was a staple at our holiday table. I'm talking the stuff on the back label of a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. A can of soup, some milk, a couple cans of green beans, and some canned French fried onions. It is still a taste that reminds me of dinner at grandma's house.

Fast forward twenty years and you have my version of green bean casserole. My version uses fresh (or frozen) green beans and mushrooms, along with a basic cream sauce flavored with sherry and thyme. The result is a casserole with a much fresher taste and a lot less sodium than the original. I also like the bigger pieces of mushroom in my version as well.

One thing I did not change was the French fried onions. I still love these, no matter how bad they are bad they are.

Green Bean Casserole

1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
3 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp dry sherry
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
12 oz fresh or frozen green beans
2 oz canned French fried onions

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Brown mushrooms in oil for 4-5 minutes. Add butter to pan and swirl until melted. Quickly stir in flour and cook 2 minutes.
Stir in sherry and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in milk and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
While sauce is cooling, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook 2 minutes for fresh or 5 minutes for frozen. Drain well. Pour into greased two quart casserole dish.
Pour sauce over green beans and mix well. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 50-55 minutes. Top with French fried onions and return to oven. Bake 5 minutes more, or until onions are browned. Serve immediately.

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