Fresh Green Bean Casserole

This recipe seems a little out of place, doesn’t it? Casseroles belong in winter, not summer?  I’ll explain.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
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.

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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.

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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!

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4 thoughts on “Fresh Green Bean Casserole

  1. Pingback: Three Things: Thanksgiving Edition | In The Mixing Bowl

  2. Pingback: 2013: The Stats and My Favorites | In The Mixing Bowl

  3. Pingback: 3 Ingredient Ice Cream Pie | In The Mixing Bowl

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