I am probably in a minority here, but I’ve never had green bean casserole before. My mom was not into traditional Thanksgiving dishes, so this was never served in our house. For years I’ve seen photos of it in magazines, with those canned fried onions on top. I always thought it looked a little gross. But Martha has a recipe for it in November Everyday Food using homemade onions. I decided to try it out.
First, let me say, this dish was kind of a pain in the butt to make since it used a lot of pans and bowls. I cut up the shallots and dredged them in flour and fried them (1 bowl, 1 pan). This took a few batches, even though I cut the recipe in half. Next, I had to blanch the beans, which required another pot and a strainer. Then I made the mushroom cream (quite easy actually – butter, mushrooms, broth, flour and milk, although this was another pan). You could make the dish up to this point and refrigerate for a day or two I think. Next, I baked it (1 casserole dish). When it comes out of the oven, you add the onions to the top (what was left of the onions – ahem – I couldn’t stop sampling them, they were so good!).
This smelled and looked good. It tasted good too. It was a totally new experience for me. I usually steam or blanch green beans and serve with slivered almonds or just plain butter. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything else with them. It was very good. I loved the mushrooms and beans together. The fried onion topping is wicked good. This doesn’t feel like a veggie dish – it feels like a casserole. In fact, it could be a main dish for my family, served with some other veggies and a potato or rice side.
I liked it, but don’t think I would serve it for Thanksgiving. For one thing, there are so many rich things on the table that day that I prefer to serve some simple veggies to kind of cut the decadence. Since it’s not part of my family’s tradition, I don’t feel like it’s missing. I do recommend this recipe though. I’ve never had the one with the canned soup and the canned fried onions, but this has got to be a million times better! I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and enjoyed them very much.
As you’ve already noticed, I have no photo. I took photos of this with the new camera, but somehow in trying to download them everything on the camera and memory stick got erased, so I can’t show you my results. I can tell you that it looked very much like the photos I’ve seen in magazines of this dish. The beans were a nice bright green. The sauce was creamy with slices of mushrooms. The onions on top were very thinly sliced rings that were golden brown and very crunchy.