Too much food at Thanksgiving? That probably only happens at my house, right? One of my favorite Thanksgiving foods is green bean casserole, and while I love the cream of mushroom version, it is absolutely incredible homemade. As in completely from scratch. Real green beans, a real roux sauce, and real mushrooms. We first had this a couple of years ago when I saw it in one of my America's Test Kitchen cookbooks. The flavors are stupendous, and it's everything you want your green bean casserole to be. The first time I made this recipe, I used this recipe for crispy fried onion strings as my topping. I highly recommend it, but it's kind of a pain to fry the onions and such. If you want the more convenient and still delicious route, the onion topping below is the way to go. I know this takes more time than the usual green bean casserole, but it's definitely worth it!
Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Makes a 9x13 pan
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2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the topping:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups canned fried onions
Fill a large bowl half full with cold water and some ice. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until bright green and tender but crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Drain the green beans and then plunge them into the cold water bath to stop the cooking.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated. Add the flour and cook for one minute while stirring. Add in the broth and let simmer, stirring constantly, and then add in the cream. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is thickening, make the topping. Melt the butter in a small skillet and add in the panko bread crumbs. Mix in the seasoned salt and pepper and stir frequently. When the bread crumbs have turned a golden brown color, remove from heat and stir in the canned fried onions.
When the sauce has thickened, stir in the drained green beans. Spoon the green bean mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and spread the topping mixture on top. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is brown and the sauce is bubbling around the sides.
Barely adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2008 cookbook