Classic Green Bean Casserole

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Green bean casserole is one of the recipes I am most often asked to adapt by my friends and coworkers. The problem is I really can’t stand the stuff. Cream of crud soup really grosses me out. So the challenge was to find a recipe to adapt that didn’t use cream of crud soup or anything else out of a can, except the onions. I always use a can of French’s onions for my casserole except when I forget to buy them like I did the day I took the picture for this post.

I know 80 minutes seems a really long cooking time for a casserole but the green beans really do need the time to cook through. Like any casserole, you can make it your own by varying the seasonings you use and even adding your favorite vegetables.

Classic Green Bean Casserole

1 slices hearty sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned fried onions

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces white mushrooms , sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 TBS all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons broth
3/4 cup milk
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Pulse bread, butter, and salt in food processor until coarsely ground. Combine bread mixture and canned fried onions in a bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large small skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, stirring, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and milk. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, toss the green beans with the cornstarch until the beans are evenly coated. Transfer the beans to a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour the warm mushroom mixture evenly over the beans. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered, until the sauce is bubbling and the beans are tender, about 80 minutes, stirring the beans thoroughly after 50 minutes. Remove the foil and spread the topping mixture over the beans. Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Serve.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

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