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 ^.^