Green Bean Casserole

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Green bean casserole has been around for many, many years and I must admit I have never been a fan of this dish. However, when I was thinking about new side dishes for the holidays green bean casserole kept popping up in my head. Probably because it is such a traditional dish and the holidays are all about tradition and family.

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I did not want to necessarily make the “traditional” green bean casserole so I went in search of something a little different. I was inspired by a recipe I saw made by Alton Brown. Instead of using a can of mushroom soup he made a mushroom sauce to compliment the beans. He also used fresh onions as a topping rather than the traditional fried onions in a can. Nothing against canned ingredients but fresh is always better if possible to make.

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I added just a few little twists to Mr. Brown’s recipe to come up with my own version of green bean casserole. After tasting this dish I had to give myself a thumbs up. Who knew I could become a new fan of green been casserole? I sure didn’t!

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Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:
2 packages mixed mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup ½ and ½
1 large onion sliced thin
1 shallot sliced thin
2 garlic cloves minced
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp and ¼ cup flour
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Juice from 1 lemon
cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix onions, shallots and panko bread crumbs in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and olive oil. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread onion mixture on cookie sheet and place in oven. Cook for approximately 20 – 25 minutes until onions and panko bread crumbs are browned. Set aside.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms ½ tbsp salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes then add garlic and lemon juice. Cook for 1-2 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Stir in 2 tbsp of flour then add chicken broth. Mix well and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Slowly stir in half and half milk. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat to let mixture thicken.

In a large pot bring 4 cups of water and 1 tbsp salt to a boil. Add string beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Move green beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain water from the beans then place in a large bowl. Season beans with a ½ tbsp salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp of butter and half of the onion mixture and toss. Place beans in a greased casserole dish. Pour mushroom mixture over beans and gently stir to mix. Top with remaining onion mixture and sprinkle parmesan cheese over onions. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

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