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Meatless Monday - The Make Over of the Green Bean Casserole

Over this Holiday Season, I have been threatening to bring the 3 –can- bean casserole as one of my sides. I think my friends have become so nervous about this trick, that they have taken Green Beans off my...

Over this Holiday Season, I have been threatening to bring the 3 –can- bean casserole as one of my sides. I think my friends have become so nervous about this trick, that they have taken Green Beans off my preparation list.  I remember this casserole from yesteryear prepared with Cream of Mushroom Soup, Green Beans and then topped with a can of Fried Onions.   I think our tastes have changed.  I do remember an Aunt who always brought this with the caveat that you always use Campbell’s Soup, Green Giant Canned Green Bean ( this was no time for Fancy French Style Beans) and  French’s Fried Onions as the cloak of glory.

Trinity for Traditional Three Bean Casserole: Green beans, fried onions, mushroom soup
Trinity for Traditional Three Bean Casserole: Green beans, fried onions, mushroom soup

At Thanksgiving, this Spicy Green Bean Casserole was the selection created by one of the neighbors. It was very worthy and a definite step-up from the 3 can casserole I was threating to bring.  I have been asked for a version of greens for Christmas, and I will blanch and dress with the dressing that covered the Kale, Pomegranate Walnut and Feta Cheese salad.  This is created with sautéed shallots, onions and garlic and finished with a bit of citrus and apple cider vinegar.  As a joke, I might still bring the three can casserole as we always need a laugh at our table.

Fresh Green Beans
Fresh Green Beans

Spicy Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 12 ounces cremini and/or shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 pound French beans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan melt 2 tablespoon of butter and the oil; stir in panko and almonds.
  3. Cook and stir over medium low hear 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel lined tray. Set aside.
  5. In a heavy skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat.
  6. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 to 6 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Add flour, chipotle, white pepper, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.
  8. Add stock and half and half. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat Simmer, uncovered, 7 to 10 minutes until thick.
  9. Remove bay leaf.
  10. Blanch beans, strain and then add to mixture. Transfer to baking dish and bake uncovered 12 to 15 minutes.

Shallot and Onion Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup minced onion or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 squeeze lemon or orange juice

Directions:

  1. Mince the shallot or onion and saute in ½ tablespoons olive oil to reduce the bite. When soft and fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. (If you want a stronger flavor for your dressing, skip the sauteing altogether. The shallot in particular works well for this.) As an aside, we preferred the sautéed shallot over the raw as we created two salads and served them side-by-side.
  2. Pulse the onions or shallot with the remaining olive oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and orange juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust. Add additional olive oil or water to keep the mixture moving through the food processor.
  3. I simply warmed this and added in my blanched green beans that I prepped earlier to warm this side dish for our dinner. Simple elegance.

Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole