Monday, December 17, 2012

Alton Brown's Green Bean Casserole

One of the dishes I made for Thanksgiving was Alton Brown's Green Bean Casserole. Green Bean Casserole is sort of traditional in my house. My mom made it often during Thanksgiving. I remember my first year of college, I couldn't come home for Thanksgiving, and instead, I stayed with my friend Becca at her house. Her sweet mom asked me if there was anything special I wanted at Thanksgiving dinner, and I said green bean casserole! And she made it for me - it was so incredibly thoughtful. Love Mrs. Axtell!

Since we've given up using any of the cream of soups (mushroom, chicken, celery, etc...) due to the large amounts of soy and other processed ingredients in the soups, I needed to find a way to make my beloved dish without the soup, but keeping that wonderful flavor combination I've come to know and love. Enter Alton Brown. I swear the man just knows exactly what dish I want and need and how to incorporate all the fabulous flavors my palette is dying for. This dish was simple to make, and I will not be saving it for Thanksgiving alone. It tastes BETTER than the traditional recipe and it's better for you.

Alton Brown's Green Bean Casserole

For the topping:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray

For beans and sauce:
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

2. Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

3. While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

4. Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I could probably eat that entire pan of mushrooms....yummo!!!!