Every day the AL Grant Realty Group will be sharing with you some of our Favorite Holiday Recipes from our kitchen to yours we will be wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving up until the big day.
Today I’m sharing a from-scratch green bean casserole that’s a cinch to make and a nice departure from the cream-of-mushroom standby we all know and love. The wonderful thing about it, besides the fact that it contains bacon, is that it begins with a plain white sauce, which can be adapted in any number of ways. Use a combination of different cheeses, add a little mustard, some mushrooms–whatever floats your boat. And while I opted for a topping of panko breadcrumbs, you can substitute the yummy french fried onions (or crushed potato chips) if that’s more to your liking.
Here’s what you need. Green beans, butter, flour, milk, half-and-half, salt, pepper, cayenne, cheddar cheese, bacon, onion, garlic, and panko bread crumbs.
Grab a few green beans at a time, then lop off the tops and bottoms. If you like the green beans a little smaller, cut them in half or thirds.
I want the green beans to be slightly tender but still a little crisp, so we need to blanch them. Throw the beans into boiling water and let them cook for about three minutes, more if you want them a little more soft.
Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, then plunge them into a bowl of icy cold water. This will stop the cooking process in its tracks.
Next, just drain the beans and set them aside.
Dice up an onion and some garlic…
Then slice some bacon into small pieces.
Throw the bacon into a skillet over medium heat.
Let it cook for a couple of minutes, then throw in the diced onions and garlic.
Stir it around and cook until the bacon is cooked but not crisp, and the onions are nice and golden brown. Now turn off the heat and set this aside for a sec.
Next, melt some butter in a separate skillet or saucepan.
Sprinkle on some flour. We’re just making a simple white sauce.
Whisk it around immediately to get the flour evenly mixed into the butter.
Let it cook over medium low heat for about two minutes, then pour in some milk…
And a little half-and-half for richness.
Add some salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne. You can also add some paprika, mustard powder…any number of spices.
Stir it all together, then add in the grated cheese.
I used sharp cheddar, but you can use pepper jack, white cheddar, or any combination of cheeses.
Stir in the cheese till it melts, then dump in the drained pimentos.
Next up, stir in the bacon and onions.
Stir it in, then check the seasonings. Add a little more salt or cayenne if it needs it, and if it’s way too thick, splash in a little milk and whisk. And be sure to taste the seasonings; make sure there’s plenty of punch!
Pour the sauce over the blanched green beans…
Gently stir/toss it all to coat.
Then even out the surface and scrape any remaining sauce on top.
Finally, sprinkle on some panko breadcrumbs.
NOTE: If it’s important to you, you can substitute French’s fried onions here! I just like the panko crumbs a little more, but either is perfectly acceptable.
Bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- 2 pounds 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 teaspoon 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 a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re 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 cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) 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 mix 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.
Thanksgiving is near!
Al Grant Realty Group – Re/Max Allegiance
Office Phone: 202-580-6607 – Cell Phone: 202-256-8592
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Recipe Courtesy Pioneer Woman