Green Bean Casserole
I found myself staring at a tempting block of pepper jack cheese today and wondered to myself “self, how would this block of cheese be best served?” A quick survey of what I had laying around the house resolved this short lived dilemma and this is how this casserole was born.
- • 1½ lbs or so of Green Beans (I used Frozen, I do this especially when the Fresh ones at the Market don’t look so “fresh”)
- •1½ c Cremini Mushrooms
- •1/2 Onion
- •2 cloves of Garlic (or more)
- •5 Slices of Bacon (or more)
- For the Béchamel sauce:
- •5 tb Butter
- •5 tb all-purpose Flour
- •4 c whole Milk
- •1½ c Pepper Jack Cheese
- •Salt/Pepper to taste
- •Pinch of freshly grated Nutmeg
- Homemade Onion Strings:
- •1 large Vidalia Onion sliced very thinly
- •2 c Buttermilk + dash of Hot Sauce
- •1½ c all-purpose Flour
- •1/2 c Rice Flour
- •S & P to taste
- Begin with your white sauce. Melt your butter and slowly sprinkle in your flour–the whisk is your best friend here. When this sticks together, just as slowly tip in your milk. Finally, sprinkle in your cheese and pour over your dressed beans.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 min
- For the onion strings:Soak your “strings” in the buttermilk mixture for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine your dry ingredients and heat at least 2 inches of canola or peanut oil to 360
- Coat your “strings” into your dry-mix, shake off excess and toss it in (in a single layer) for approximately 3 min (you want crispy, golden brown drizzles that float to the surface).
- Salt with kosher salt (if need be) while hot, drain on a brown paper grocery bag you’re no longer using.
I almost always have bacon, butter, garlic, onions, and bacon (and eggs) at the house. Even on those days when rations look “scarce,” I always seem to have those hangin’ about, waiting to fulfill their destiny. I buy lots o’ bacon when it’s on sale and pop it in the fridge–there, it waits ever so patiently until I’m ready to crisp it up for a quick BLT or use it to lend a dish that extra smoky oomph! Butter is bought in bulk, however, of all things mentioned, it has the shortest life of all. I find myself finding any excuse-every opportunity, to smear it on toast, cream it for pastries, or use it for roux’s and gravy’s, or more. Most people look at a box of butter and see 4 sticks of butter. To me, a single box of butter is automatically translated into one cake or two batches of cookies. I like to think in terms of food. Onto garlic, I betchya most days, my fingers smell of garlic. Though that may not be sexy, I most certainly think it necessary. Both onions and garlic lay the foundation for so many dishes and this rings true for both American and Korean cuisine. Needless to say, I run through heaps and heaps of them. Lastly, there are my eggs. I am in awe of the most humble egg. I probably go through 2 cartons of eggs a week. Back in my heavy catering days, there was a time I used 60 eggs in one single night! Crazy, but true. Eggs are so beautiful in that they can be utilized in both savory or sweet foods. I love that the egg can make both a delicious egg salad sandwich to carry along with you to your picnic or a beautiful cheesecake (for my birthday, please).
I hope that answers some of those questions. Like I always say, use what you’ve got. I did that very thing today and the results were delicious!
The Squishy Monster ^.^