Not quite sure what inspired this choice, especially since fresh green beans are definitely out of season in Wisconsin right now. I think I just wanted something really warm and home-y tasting since it is doing nothing but raining here.
Best Ever Green Bean Casserole
Alton Brown for Food Network
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Take about 45 minutes to make and cook
For the topping:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray
For beans and sauce:
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 lb fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 C chicken broth
1 C half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
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. Really. Do toss the onions. Not tossing the onions results in seriously burnt onions. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.
Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
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. I actually blanched for 10 minutes. I wanted to beans to taste sort of soggy in the casserole. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a 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.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Put in casserole dish. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
Will definitely make this again. I think next time I might skip making the onions myself though and just buy some French Fried Onions. That part took a ton of time, smoked up the house, and didn't really turn out all that great.