Let’s have an honest moment, shall we? Green Bean Casserole is a common Thanksgiving dish. But if I’m honest, I’ve never liked it…and I don’t thin my mother cooked it more than maybe once or twice. But alas, part of being ‘Chef Lorious’ is being willing to try things that have not previously appealed to me. Additionally, the whole concept of Calibama Cooking is mixing up the classic with contemporary to create new comfort foods. So having said all of that, I embarked on Green Bean Casserole. There are a few things I did that differ from the typical green bean casserole recipe, and for good reason!
- I used fresh green beans. Most recipes I’ve seen use canned green beans. If that’s the only option you have, no problem. Just be sure to rinse the beans to wash away the canned preserved taste. Fresh green beans brightened up the dish and the flavor was noticeably different.
- I added bacon. I have yet to meet a vegetable based dish that isn’t improved 1000% with bacon. Not a lot else to say about that.
- I created my own cream of mushroom cheese roux. This was my substitute for the can of cream of mushroom soup that generally goes in the dish. By making a basic roux I was able to capitalize on the richness of the heavy cream and the understated strength of the gruyere cheese. Gruyere has a somewhat nutty flavor, but it is not an aggressive flavor that tries to dominate the whole dish. It provides an extra layer of richness to the dish than can’t quite be pinpointed by the average holiday diner.
- I finished it in the oven so it could get bubbly and the different flavor could have extra time for a meet and greet in the oven. I’ve seen people serve it straight from the pot, which is acceptable since everything in the dish is completely cooked. But by putting it in the oven with a thin layer of said gruyere cheese, there’s something magical that happens.
- I made my own crispy fried onion straws. The package kind at the store will achieve the desire of texture in the dish, but cooking your own will elevate the dish to a-whole-nother level. I seasoned mine with a little bit of kick–not too spicy, but just enough cayenne to know it was there.
So, when you make this dish, please take a pic and tag #ChefLorious.
- 2 ½ c green beans
- 1 lb of bacon fried crisp, in bite sized pieces
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 1 T garlic paste
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 T thyme
- 1 T chili powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 T flour
- 1 ½ c heavy whipping cream
- 1 c gruyere cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil the green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes.
- In a large skillet cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove excess bacon fat that has been rendered, leave approximately 2 – 3 Tbsp of bacon fat rendered in the skillet.
- Add the chopped yellow onions, garlic paste, mushrooms and thyme. Cook until fragrant.
- Add chilli powder and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Add the flour and stir continuously until the flour has absorbed the fat and is no longer raw.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to the skillet, continue stirring, and bring to a boil.
- Add ¾ c of the gruyere cheese to the skillet.
- Add the green beans and stir to combine well.
- Transfer everything to a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Top with remaining ¼ c of gruyere cheese.
- Bake until the cheese has melted and the top is bubbly. About 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven when done, top with crispy fried onion straws.