A new twist on an old favorite Thanksgiving side dish…
What if there was a green been casserole that didn’t include all that mushroom soup and weird onion topping? A “denastified” green bean casserole, in other words.
Well, such a recipe does, indeed, exist. So here is a twist on an old favorite.
Green bean casserole
2 lbs fresh green beans, ends cut off
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 jar (4 ounce) sliced pimentoes, drained
extra milk for thinning if necessary
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be smaller. Blanch green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling waster with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they are cool 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 for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mis 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 pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with Panko crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and Panko crumbs are golden.
Marci Nobles, a Benton resident, is a fantastic cook. Visit her on the Internet at The Crazed Wife Blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.