Green Bean Casserole

This recipe comes from Alton Brown. Essentially it is the classic one everyone knows made with Cream of Mushroom Soup and French’s Crispy Fried Onions, but amped up in every way.  We made it yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was the star of the show. You even make your own crispy onions! I know it is past Thanksgiving, but you could make this for Christmas Dinner or really anytime. Just one tip: I thought it needed more cream right at the end before adding the onion topping, so I added some, otherwise this is exactly Alton’s recipe.

Ingredients:

FOR THE TOPPING:

2 medium onions, thinly sliced in rings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE BEANS AND SAUCE:

2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms such as Crimini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half, plus more if needed

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

2. Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

3. While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. 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 rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

4. 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.

5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

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