This recipe seems a little out of place, doesn’t it? Casseroles belong in winter, not summer? I’ll explain.
Last week, we got together with friends for our bi-monthly Super Supper. We’ve been doing these suppers for a long time — close to 2 years, I think.
Here’s the Super Supper deal:
- We plan to go to one person’s place for supper on a Thursday night.
- Via email, the host announces the main dish and theme, if applicable.
- Everyone who can join replies with their RSVP and the side dish, dessert, or drink they’re bringing. Long email threads ensue to make sure we don’t end up with 5 desserts or 5 salads in one night.
This is a great system for us young folks who want to entertain without all the pressure. On your night, you get the house ready, cook the main dish, and host a super supper! On others’ nights, you have a good excuse to get together and visit each others’ places.
We’ve been leaning heavily on themed dinners lately — they’re too fun! It’s a good excuse to try new recipes and get more creative.
I was slightly devastated to miss Star Wars night. Rainbow night was a success — we all brought food of a certain color, with outfits to match (ROYGBIV!). I also loved Irish night, and our recent theme: Thanksgiving in June!
It may have been one of our best Super Suppers yet. Grilled chicken (the turkey of summer, we decided), grilled potato packs, ramen salad, carrots & hummus, and homemade apple pie. Everything was delicious!
My contribution was Fresh Green Bean Casserole — very Thanksgiving-y but could work as a summer dish too.
With this recipe you make the sauce instead of using “cream of..” soups, and add a little bacon and cheese action. I think it’s worth the little extra work. Also, most the ingredients are pantry staples.
Quick explanation for the pic above: to prep the dish ahead of time, I blanched the beans and made the sauce. I kept them separate, then mixed right before baking.
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Recipe from Pioneer Woman
2 pounds fresh green beans, ends cut off and cut in half
4-5 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Extra milk for thinning, if necessary
1 cup crunchy topping (panko bread crumbs, French’s fried onions, or crushed potato chips)
Blanch the green beans by dropping them into lightly salted boiling water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove green beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. When cool, drain beans and set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt butter over medium heat, in a separate skillet or saucepan. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter.
Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
Add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle your crunchy topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and topping is golden.
Soooo…. pictures of green bean casserole are slightly appalling, right? Please know that it tastes much better than it looks!
I think people who love traditional green bean casserole will still really enjoy this dish. The sauce holds true to the creamy and rich texture, with a little extra somethin’ from the bacon, onions, cayenne, and cheese. I loved that the beans still had a slight crunch, instead of the mush of canned beans.
Here’s a sneak peek of our new floors — eeee! They’re so pretty. I CANNOT WAIT to share more pictures of the kitchen. However, as you can see the countertops are green as ever. Soon, the transformation will be complete!
Also, last week, I did not post. It was the first week I missed since starting last year. I waiver between feeling bad and deciding that maybe I’m the only one that noticed, but please know that if you noticed, I apologize! I will stick to my schedule of weekly additions to this web-world and miss weeks no more! Okay, getting weird so time to sign off.
Have a great night, all! Hug the next person you see!