Saturday, December 7, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving is still not over. Here's another dish I made for the meal. The ever famous "Green Bean Casserole" and might I add, this one is BADASS.

Everyone needs to eat their vegetables, so they say. Apparently, America is just so fat that it's been a big thing to eat healthier nowadays. What's the solution? Drench green beans in a creamy mushroom sauce and top it with fried onions! Michelle Obama can't say we're not eating our vegetables anymore. Ok, so maybe this won't make us all skinnier and fit into our favorite pair of jeans, but it's a baby step.

Just look at those blanched green beans. So, vibrantly green and healthy. Don't you just feel the pounds melting away just looking at it? Such a shame they have to be drenched in a rich and creamy, deliciously decadent, mushroom cream sauce. What a shame, what a shame.

I can't stress this enough. Make your own mushroom cream sauce, it will change your life. Throw away those cans of gelatinous soup in a can. You know, that thick globby mess they call "condensed soup". I don't know where you're from but that stuff just needs to the trash. Why buy a canned soup when you can make one yourself that tastes a whole lot better with fresh ingredients? But if you must, go ahead and use that stuff but don't tell me I didn't warn you.

And those onions in a can. Is it really onions? I haven't had those fried onions in a can in many years after tasting one that was completely burnt. From that moment on, I haven't touched the stuff. Hopefully whatever company makes those stepped their game up. But everyone has onions on hand, and everyone has flour. Go ahead and make them from scratch too. Heck, don't make them if you don't want to. The green beans and mushroom cream sauce, alone, blew my mind away.

Flour those buttermilk soaked onions...

and fry...Seriously, whose counting calories anymore once you know you're going to drench green beans in a cream sauce? I know I'm not.

So, there's green beans, mushrooms and onions. Three vegetables in one?! This is definitely a health food. If I don't make America healthier, with this dish, I don't know what will!

AJ's Secret:

  • If you find the mushroom cream sauce is not thick enough, take about 1 tbsp room temperature butter and 1 tbsp flour. Mix until homogenous and add it into the sauce. Mix until the butter and flour mixture is completely dissolved. This method disperses the flour evenly as the butter melts so that you don't have clumps. But, you must make sure you MIX or else a dumpling will form.

Green Bean Casserole 
Recipe by Me

Crispy Onions
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ to 2 cups flour
~ 2 tsp salt
~ 1/2 tsp pepper

2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 lb button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 tbsp butter
5-6 tbsp flour
3 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken stock
¾ cup cream salt and pepper to taste

Crispy Onions 
Prepare the crispy onions by soaking the onion slices in buttermilk for 5 minutes. While the onions are soaking, place the flour in a clean plastic bag, season with salt and pepper and shake to mix. Add a handful of onion slices (drained) to the plastic bag and shake until evenly coated. Place the coated onions on a baking sheet and repeat the process.
At this stage, there is the option of baking or frying the onions. If baking, spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and place the onions in an oven preheated to 450 degrees F for about 30 minutes until golden brown, tossing the onions a couple of times while cooking. If frying, heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F and add in a handful of onions into the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes or until golden. Repeat with the remaining onion slices. I chose the latter. 

Prepare the beans 
Bring about 6 to 8 cups of water to a boil and season with about 1 tbsp of salt. Add in the prepared beans and blanch for about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until the beans are no longer hot. Set aside.

Prepare the mushroom cream sauce
In a large pot, melt the butter and add in the garlic. Cook on medium heat for about 1 minute until aromatic and proceed to add in the sliced mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid and are fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add in the flour. Continue to cook the mixture for an additional minute to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add in the chicken stock until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the flavors begin to marry. Lastly, add in the cream and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Final Assembly 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Add the blanched green beans and a small handful of the crispy onions to the mushroom cream sauce and stir to combine. Place into an oven safe dish and top with the remaining crispy onions. Bake for about 15 minutes until bubbly.

-Aaron John

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-Aaron John


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