Menu Banner
  1. Tuesday, November 20

    {Thanksgiving Prep} Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

    Today’s post might be a little controversial. Maybe even more controversial than the 2012 presidential election. I know. Are you ready?

    I don’t like green bean casserole. You know, the casserole that practically everyone else in America seems to LOVE except me. The casserole that graces many a Thanksgiving table every November. I appreciate that it is a staple and I love that other people love it. But, yeah. I’m just not that into it and always pass when it’s available.

    See. Controversy. I may as well just tell you who I voted for for president. That might actually cause less of a stir! So, I voted for…

    What, did you REALLY think I’d fess up about my secret ballot? Yeah right!

    Back to casserole. I decided to invite green bean casserole into my life this year. But I also decided I wanted it to be made completely from scratch. Fresh green beans and mushrooms, no canned soup, homemade onion rings. The task was daunting, but I have to tell you, I am SOOOOOO glad I tackled this challenge. Because the end result was unbelievably delicious. And I am NOT speaking in hyperbole here.

    Our friend Brandon, a renowned casserole hater, took a bite and said, “Where have you been all my life?”

    Is that enough of a build up for you? Are you ready to cast aside the canned soup and the store-bought french fried onions and throw a little blood, sweat and tears into your green bean casserole? Good. Here you go.

    {Thanksgiving Prep} Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
     
    Adapted from two recipes, one from Williams Sonoma the other from Cook’s Illustrated
    Author:
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Thanksgiving
    Cuisine: American
    Ingredients
    • 1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2″-3″ pieces
    • 1 cup water and a large bowl of ice water
    • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 3 tablespoon butter
    • 1 small onion or ½ regular-sized onion, chopped
    • ⅓ cup flour
    • 1½ cups chicken or veggie stock/broth
    • 1 cup cream
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 3 shallots, sliced very thin
    • ¼ cup flour
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 cup water to boiling over medium-high to high heat. Add green beans. Put on lid and cook for three minutes. Remove beens and place in ice water. Set beans aside.
    3. Pour water off of the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Add mushroom and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and cook an additional 5+ minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Sprinkle ⅓ cup flour over the mushrooms and onions and stir well, cooking for a minute or so. Slowly stir in the chicken broth. Slowly stir in the cream. Mix well. Add ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir well then mix in green beans. Transfer to 9×13 casserole dish and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes (you will put fried shallot rings on top for the last 5 minutes of baking…see below).
    4. While casserole is baking, heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix flour, ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper in a medium to large bowl. Mix shallot rings in the flour, coating well. Use your hands to mix the shallots in the flour so you can break the rings up and get them coated really well. Transfer floured shallots with tongs to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are crisp and golden.
    5. Sprinkle fried shallots over the top of the casserole at the 25 minute baking point. Bake 5 more minutes. Serve hot!
    6. If you want to make this ahead of time, I would do everything except the fried shallot rings and put the casserole in the fridge BEFORE baking. Bake 5-10 minutes longer since the casserole will be going into the oven cold and make the fried shallot rings while the casserole is baking.

    green bean casserole from scratch by @janemaynard from thisweekfordinner.com


  2. Tuesday, February 28

    Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

    My CSA has had Yukon Gold potatoes recently. Before we get to today’s recipe, let us first ponder on just how delicious Yukon Gold potatoes are. Mmmmmmm…

    In an effort to mix things up with all the soft foods I’ve had to eat lately, I wanted to do something a little different with this week’s batch of potatoes.

    I don’t know about you, but I love twice-baked potatoes. But, honestly, scooping the hot baked potato out of its skin is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks. The potatoes are always super hot and I invariably break some of the skins. As I was eating mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with the skins mixed in the other day, I had a revelation…as cute as twice-baked potatoes are, if you just mash the skins in with the potato and make a casserole out of it, it would be easier to prepare and probably taste just as good.

    And so the twice-baked potato casserole was born! A bit easier to prepare than its classic counterpart and easier to serve to a crowd. And, the casserole version did taste just as good. Hypothesis proven correct! Enjoy!

    Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes (other bake-able potatoes will work, too, but yukon golds sure are yummy!)
    • ½ cup warmed cream
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter
    • ⅓ cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • ~1 cup shredded cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese
    • sliced green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Poke a few holes in your potatoes, wrap in foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about an hour, until easily pierced by a knife. Leave the oven on.
    2. Mash potatoes with the skins ON in a bowl by hand. Add cream, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mix and mash some more! Spread in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is all melted. Top with sliced green onions if desired.

     


  3. Friday, November 19

    Thanksgiving Prep: Broccoli Casserole

    My mom always makes broccoli casserole for Thanksgiving. This recipe definitely reminds me of her, so I end up making it myself almost every year. When I take a bite, I go back in time, back to a time when I didn’t do much on Thanksgiving morning except watch TV. Those were the days, eh?

    I must warn you…not everyone loves this broccoli casserole. Kids especially. I remember not loving it all that much myself when I was younger, but it grew on me. I think the reason is that there is blue cheese in the sauce and, well, blue cheese isn’t always a universally loved flavor. In fact, I pretty much detest blue cheese in most things. I can’t help it.  But I do really like this casserole. I like the strong savory flavor of this dish in contrast with the more mellow, often sweet flavors on the Thanksgiving plate.

    Thanksgiving Prep: Broccoli Casserole
     
    From my mom Phyllis Wallin (don’t know where she got the recipe from!)
    Author:
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Vegetable
    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 6 oz cream cheese
    • ¼-1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I do ¼ cup)
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 14 ounce pkgs frozen broccoli – thawed and drained
    • ~15 Ritz crackers (half a sleeve or so), crushed
    Instructions
    1. In saucepan melt butter; blend in flour and cheeses (this part doesn’t always go that smoothly for me, but once I get the milk in there things melt and blend better). Add milk; cook and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.
    2. Place in casserole dish; top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.

     

    As you can see, I’m freezing the casserole for next week, so I’m keeping the crackers stored separately until it’s time to bake.