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Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

Recipes --> Side Dishes --> Real Green Bean Casserole

Real Green Bean Casserole

Wine Guy Mark Finch brought us this one — it's some work, but it sure beats the can of mushroom soup poured over green beans that we grew up on....

Serves 10

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans, snapped and broken into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts water
20 ounce sliced baby bella mushrooms (2 10-ounce packages)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons Sherry (approx)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups whole grain bread (about 2 slices)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces French fried onions (1 large can, or make your own)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preparation:

Cook green beans in boiling water and salt for about 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender and still bright green. Drain, and then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again, and place on baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry.

Melt butter in skillet, adding mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring often. Cook until mushrooms soften and give off their liquid, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook a minute. Add the chicken stock and Sherry, and bring to a simmer. Add the heavy cream and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings, then stir in beans.

(NOTE: Use real Sherry, not that gawdawful "cooking sherry" stuff that they sell at the grocery store. Don't worry about just using 4 tablespoons out of a 750 ml bottle; the remainder will last for months.)

Topping:

Process bread, butter and seasonings with about 10 quick pulses in a food processor. Stir in — don't process — the onions.

(NOTE: As a alternative to whole grain bread, I used a leftover loaf of olive bread that I brought home from Grapevine Cottage and it tasted great.)

Transfer bean mixture to greased baking dish. Top beans with topping and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Garnish with French fried onions and serve.