Gourmet Green Bean Casserole

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You can save yourself the salt and make your taste buds happy with our formula for homemade green bean casserole.
Green bean casserole is a holiday staple: it's right up there with sweet potato or pumpkin pies and even the turkey. The recipe on the back of the canister of French-fried onions was the end-all be-all until now. This year you can whip up a homemade version that's healthier and tastier in a few simple steps.

The traditional green bean casserole is made with canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, a little milk, soy sauce, and a topping of French-fried onions. It tastes great, but all of these canned, sodium-filled products will give you your recommended daily allowance of sodium in less than one serving.

Gourmet Green Bean Casserole Recipe

  1. You can save yourself the salt and make your taste buds happy with our formula for homemade green bean casserole.
  2. First, blanch about a pound of fresh, trimmed green beans in rapidly boiling, heavily salted water.
  3. Let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the green beans are crisp on the outside, yet tender in the center.
  4. Remove the green beans from the water and rinse them in ice cold water just until they're room temperature.
  5. Set the green beans aside while you work on the sauce.
  6. Sauté half a pound of sliced mushrooms—you can use any variety—and a few cloves of minced garlic in butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat; cook until the mushrooms begin to brown and the garlic softens. You can also add diced onions or bell peppers to suit your tastes.
  7. Once the veggies have softened, stir in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute; stir in a cup of chicken stock and half a cup of half and half; let the sauce simmer until it thickens slightly.
  8. Season the sauce to taste and add the blanched green beans, tossing to coat them evenly. Pour the green beans into a medium casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs; bake at 425 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly and the top is lightly browned.

You can experiment with different flavors for your green bean casserole. Try using half green beans and half yellow wax beans for contrasting color. Other spices you can add include a pinch of ground nutmeg or a little cayenne pepper.