I have issues. Which I'm sure y'all have noticed. :)
One of those issues is that I refuse to cook with any sort of condensed "cream of whatever" soup. Absolutely refuse. But I'm not 100% certain why.
And sometimes a holiday like Thanksgiving comes up where people rely heavily on the condensed soups to make the "classic" green bean casserole. Which presents me with a dilemma because I love anything with green beans in it. And so, I've come up with a way to slightly fancify green bean casserole so the flavors come out even better.
In a skillet, melt butter and add in a sliced onion. Sprinkle in salt, pepper and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have cooked down and caramelized.
Meanwhile, steam your green beans for about 5 minutes. Unless you're from or live in the South. Then you might want to cook them for 5 hours. :)
My mom brought a green bean side dish to a church potluck one time shortly after my family moved to Tennessee and the look of shock and surprise on the ladies faces was hilarious. They couldn't understand why my Mom hadn't "finished" cooking the green beans. Good times. :)
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add in flour and whisk rapidly for 2 minutes.
Pour in either whole milk or half & half. I obviously wasn't going for the healthy factor with this one so I used half & half.
But don't worry. I just had a granola bar and fresh pineapple for lunch. It's all about balance. :)
As soon as the roux starts to thicken, pour it on your steamed green beans. Toss in a bit more salt and pepper.
By now your onions should (hopefully) be caramelized. And they smell delightful. Why hasn't someone made a caramelized onion candle yet? Why?
Combine onions with green beans and the roux. Spoon it all into a lightly oiled casserole dish. Top with panko bread crumbs.
You can find panko, Japanese bread crumbs, in the Asian section of your grocery store. They're much lighter and get crispier than the American version of bread crumbs.
And now drizzle on some melted butter.
Told you it wasn't healthy.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve piping hot and enjoy! The caramelized onions and panko are what really make this dish incredible. It still has the flavors of what we're used to in a green bean casserole but this recipe allows them to each shine rather than being masked by creamed soup. Luckily, my husband doesn't like green beans so more for me! :)
I went a little light on the roux this time around but I'll give you the version of the recipe that will leave the green beans as creamy as the classic green bean casserole.
Revamped Green Bean Casserole
6 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tbsp. brown sugar
18-20 oz. bag of frozen green beans
1 pint half & half
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. panko
salt and pepper
Slice onion. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion and brown sugar. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook onion down, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown and caramelized.
Meanwhile, steam green beans for 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Rapidly whisk in 2 tbsp. flour; continue whisking for 2-3 minutes. Pour in half & half. Continue whisking for another 2 minutes and then pour the roux over your green beans. Add in caramelized onions and stir everything together.
Spoon green bean mixture into a lightly oiled casserole dish. Top with panko. Melt remaining butter and drizzle it over the top of the bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.