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Elevating a Classic Dish

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Green Bean Casserole Extraordinaire: Elevating a Classic Dish

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Green bean casserole holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of many, often evoking memories of holiday gatherings and comforting family meals. In this recipe for Green Bean Casserole Extraordinaire, we take the classic dish and give it a flavorful twist that will elevate your dining experience. With layers of texture, rich flavors, and a touch of creativity, this dish is sure to become a new favorite on your table.

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The History of Green Bean Casserole:

Originally created in the 1950s by Dorcas Reilly, a home economist working for the Campbell Soup Company, green bean casserole quickly gained popularity thanks to its simplicity and delicious flavor. Requiring just a few pantry staples, it became a staple at Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts across the United States. Over the years, home cooks have put their own spin on the dish, adding ingredients like bacon, cheese, and crispy onion rings to enhance its taste and appeal.

Ingredients:

  • Meat:
    • 8 strips Thick-Cut Bacon
  • Produce:
    • 4 cans (14.5 ounces each) Whole Green Beans
    • 1 Medium-Sized Yellow Onion
  • Baking & Spices:
    • Black Pepper, to taste
    • 2 heaping tablespoons White Flour
  • Snacks:
    • 1 bag (14 ounces) Frozen Onion Rings
  • Dairy:
    • 2 cups Milk
    • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Other:
    • 1 tablespoon Shiitake Mushroom Powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Prepare the Bacon: Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Once cooked, chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Saute the Onions: In the same skillet used for the bacon, sauté the chopped onion until softened and lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Prepare the Green Beans: Drain the canned green beans and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Make the Sauce: In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously until it forms a paste. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Cook until the sauce thickens, then season with black pepper to taste. Optional: Add shiitake mushroom powder for an extra depth of flavor.
  6. Assemble the Casserole: Add the cooked onions, chopped bacon, and parmesan cheese to the sauce. Mix until well combined. Pour the sauce mixture over the green beans and toss until the beans are evenly coated.
  7. Top with Onion Rings: Transfer the green bean mixture to the prepared baking dish. Arrange the frozen onion rings on top in an even layer.
  8. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  9. Serve: Once done, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional crispy bacon and freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Benefits of Green Beans:

Green beans are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and fiber. Additionally, green beans are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a ketogenic or low-carb diet, there are several modifications that can be made to this recipe to make it more suitable:

  • Use Low-Carb Alternatives: Substitute the flour with almond flour or coconut flour to reduce the carb content of the sauce.
  • Skip the Onion Rings: Omit the frozen onion rings or use a low-carb alternative such as crushed pork rinds or almond flour mixed with parmesan cheese for a crunchy topping.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Make it Vegetarian: Skip the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this dish vegetarian-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Substitute the flour with a gluten-free flour blend to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Add Crunch: Crushed buttery crackers or breadcrumbs can be used instead of onion rings for an extra crunchy topping.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use fresh green beans instead of canned? A: Yes, you can use fresh green beans. Simply blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes before incorporating them into the casserole.

Q: Can I prepare this dish ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze leftover green bean casserole. Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in the oven until warmed through.

With its crispy bacon, creamy sauce, and crunchy onion ring topping, our Green Bean Casserole Extraordinaire is sure to become a new holiday favorite. Whether you’re serving it alongside a festive roast or enjoying it as a comforting weeknight side dish, this elevated take on a classic recipe is guaranteed to impress. Give it a try and watch as it becomes the star of your next gathering!