Sunday, February 26, 2012

{ not your grandma's grean bean casserole }

Green bean casserole -- an American classic. I made one last night, and it's not even Thanksgiving, and it didn't even have those canned fried onions on top. Oh, and it has cayenne pepper! Talk about walking on the wild side, no?

Acutally, I was watching Ree Drummond's new show on Food Network. In this particular episode, she shared her favorite pot luck recipes. Her green bean casserole had both Ty and I sold: Immediate recipe replication was definitely in order.

One of the few changes I made to Ree's recipe was to blanche the green beans for a longer amount of time than she did, simply because we like them softer, as opposed to super-crisp. Her original recipe calls for a jar of pimentos, but we used a fresh red bell pepper instead, as she calls for in her updated Food Network version. I substituted light cream for half-and-half, added a bit more cayenne, and finally, sprinkled some grated parmesan cheese on top with the panko, just because, well ... it's more cheese! Other than that, it was pretty much amazingly perfect just the way it was written.

The recipe makes a huge batch, so we have leftovers galore. I foresee a week of green bean casserole on the side of each night's menu! And I'm totally good with it.

Green Bean Casserole
(adapted from ThePioneerWoman)

2 pounds fresh green beans, anapped with ends cut off
  • 5 slices bacon, cut Into 1/4 Inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • coursely ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • extra milk for thinning, if necessary
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Process
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Prepare green beans by snapping or cutting them in half and cutting off the ends.

    Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately shock the beans by plunging them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside.

    Add bacon pieces to a skillet and cook over medium heat for two minutes. Add diced onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

    In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and cream.

    Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne, then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

    Add the bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine.

    Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.


    Beverly said...

    Funny ... I saw on her website that she was making this (and meatballs) on her show, and neither really appealed to me. But with your ringing endorsement of the green bean casserole, I'll definitely be saving the recipe.

    Guess that means I'll need to drag myself to H.E.B. sometime in the next month .... (loathe going to the grocery store ... send Ty my way, por favor?).

    Elizabeth @ Lone Stars And Stripes said...

    We did the meatballs too. They were really good. Sweet, but good (next time, I'll cut way back on the sugar).

    Mindy said...

    I have made this for the past two Christmas dinners. Yum!

    Greetings from Texas! said...

    I love Ree's show too! Your beans look good. Yum.