Casseroling in the new year.

So the green bean casserole (or ‘hot dish’ if yr from the other side of the lake than myself) is the dish that personifies the Midwestern holiday season for me. Nevertheless, I think traditions can be improved upon and the standard back-of-the-Campbell’s-soup-can recipe seemed like no fun. So I fancied it up by making the mushroom base from scratch, using shitakes and wine. However, I’m sticking to canned beans (it’s a hard consistency to recreate) and french fried onions (because . . . yuh-um!). Set this out at a potluck and watch the vegetarians descend like a flock of vultures to fight over the final scraps whilst everyone else is distracted by the glazed duck

Green Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons onion, diced
1 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 large egg, blended
1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 dashes red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine
4 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (10 oz)
1 cup french style fried onions.
paprika

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sautee mushrooms in butter in large skillet for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add onions and sautee unitl clear on medium heat. Stir flour into wine (room temp) until no lumps, add and simmer until reduced by half and starting to thicken. Puree salt, garlic, egg, pepper, sour cream, cream cheese and 1 cup of cheddar and in food processor. Transfer the mixture and beans to a large (9×12) casserole dish, homogenize. Bake for 20 min. Sprinkle with remainder of cheddar then fried onions. Dust lightly with paprika. Bake for another 20 minutes, until cheese just starts to brown on edges.

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