green bean casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Who doesn’t love Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Well, for years, I didn’t. The idea of dumping a can of cream of [insert vegetable or meat] soup on top of some canned green beans with some crunchy onions on top sounded like an abomination.

Luckily, my culinary prowess has led me to discover that I can cut my own fresh green beans, craft a delicious béchamel sauce, and fry up my own crunchy onions.

green bean casserole

My youngest cousin asked me to make this dish for Thanksgiving this year, but was confused when I said that I made it from scratch. Upon announcing my culinary creation on Facebook, a friend commented that, to paraphrase, I should not “food porn-ize a classic.

green bean casserole

Well, I did. No regrets. This kicks ass and is worth all of the effort.

bechamel sauce

And I think adding bacon to a meal to improve upon it would not be frowned upon by most omnivores.

bechamel sauce

Behold: A Bennington Pottery casserole dish full of love.

green bean casserole

P.S.: My cousins ate this up and the casserole dish was practically licked clean. I think they were thankful that I created it.

green bean casserole

Green Bean Casserole
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 & 1/2 pounds (roughly 4 cups) green beans, ends snapped and cut in half

Béchamel Sauce:
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 3 tablespoon flour
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 2 strips bacon, crumbled
– 1 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded

Crispy Onions:
– 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced and rings separated
– 1/4 cup flour
– 2 heaping tablespoons breadcrumbs
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Canola oil, enough to fill a pan with 1/2 inch of oil for frying

Before We Get Started…

– Though I am normally not one to time the length of my meal creations, this did take me a good 90 minutes from start to finish, as there are many phases to this casserole. Consider this note a friendly heads up to bide your time wisely.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.) Slice onion and separate rings. Place in cold water for two minutes. Remove and pat dry.

3.) Mix flour, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dredge onion rings in flour mixture.

4.) Add oil to pan and heat on medium-high. Oil will be ready when shimmering and a drop of water flicks off of the top. Working in batches, place onions in a single layer in the pan; fry for approximately two minutes per batch or until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

5.) In a large sauce pan, melt butter on medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk to form a roux. Add milk and whisk until bubbles start to form and mixture begins to thicken. Add chicken broth in a slow steady stream, continuing to whisk. Add cheese and crumbled bacon. Whisk until all ingredients are combined and the mixture coats the whisk. Remove from heat.

6.) In a large sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of water. Add green beans and steam for five minutes or until beans are bright green and crisp. Remove from heat and drain. Combine with béchamel sauce and stir until beans are coated.

7.) Add green beans to casserole dish. Top with onions. If casserole dish has a top, cover with top. Otherwise, cover casserole dish with aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook for fifteen minutes. Remove top and cook for an additional five minutes or until the onions have browned.

8.) Remove from oven and eat immediately!

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