Green Bean Casserole
No cream of mushroom soup for this girl! Try my from scratch version of a holiday table staple ..It is slightly more work but you will never go back after trying this
2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed. You can cut into smaller size if you wish but not necessary. Honestly you can use frozen too - I won't tell!
1/2 large onion chopped/diced fine
2 handfuls of shiitake or chantrelle mushrooms (about 1 cup BEFORE they are chopped) - small chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
1/2 cup half and half
2 1/4 cups milk - preferably whole
1 jar (4oz) pimentos - rough chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or could increase if you are spicy)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup breadcrumbs (panko works well) or french fried onions
Prepare the green beans. Put them into salted/boiling water and allow for 4-5 mins. Remove the to a bowl of ice cold water. Drain beans once they have cooled off.
Cook bacon pieces in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes, then add onion and mushrooms and continue cooking for about 5 mins, when bacon is cooked through and the onions soften. Then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 mins then pour in milk and half and half. Keep on cooking and whisking until the sauce gets nice and thick. Around 3-4 mins. Turn off heat. Now is when you add the cheese and cayenne(optional) also add some salt and pepper to your liking - probably about a tsp of salt and half of pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted.
Add the pimentos and the bacon/mush/onion mix into the cheesy sauce. If your saucepan is large enough, stir in the green beans and mix until well coated, otherwise put the beans in a large bowl and do the same. Try hard not to lick the bowl/spoon/pan etc. It will be tough!
You'll want to put this mixture into a large 13x9 baking dish. Top with your fav topping (breadcrumbs or french fried onions) Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
You can make this and freeze prior to putting the topping on, or make it a day or two in advance refrigerated. When ready to prepare, bring to room temp - add topping and bake per instructions.