Green Bean Casserole – another Thanksgiving staple

Casseroles seemed so nasty as a kid. It was a hodgepodge of veggies and some meat mixed with cream of something soup and then baked. But that actually sounds delicious. It is an easy one-pot meal that was a staple growing up. I’m not sure who thought up the green bean casserole as a side dish to Thanksgiving but it’s another necessity.

And to help save time on Turkey Day, make this the night before and store it in the refrigerator. Just leave off the onions until you are ready to pop it in the oven.

It also travels really well. So make extra and bring it to the in-laws.

Green Bean Casserole

  • 4 big handfuls of fresh green beans (sorry, I’ve never weighed it), ends trimmed
  • 1 lb of crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 3 TBS cream (not necessary but come on, it’s the holidays)
  • 1/4 cup or so of milk
  • 1 package of fried onions (6 to 8 oz)

Boil some water in a pot big enough to hold your green beans. Cook the green beans until just fork tender. Then blanch them in cold water to stop the cooking. Set them aside.

In a pan, melt the butter and oil. Add the shallots and mushrooms and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are just tender.

Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Then slowly add the cream then the milk. The mushrooms should be swimming in the scrumptiously rich sauce. Cook a bit more until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Put the green beans in a casserole dish and pour the mushroom sauce over it. Give it a little stir and then shake the fried onions over the top.

Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Gobble, gobble.

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Lidia’s Comfort Potatoes

Do you ever find yourself with nothing to watch on the DVR so you have to watch LIVE TV. Oh the commercials are just so irritating. Why do they have to be so loud? That’s why I love KQED or any local public stations. I get to escape the commercials and watch Lidia’s Italy. I love that show. It’s so relaxing and inspiring. Watching the show the other day inspired this version of her comfort potatoes. Seriously, bacon and potatoes, marinated artichoke hearts and green beans all fried to deliciousness? How couldn’t I resist?

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Lidia Inspired Comfort Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 4 or 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 or 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 handfuls of green beans cut into 3″ lengths
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • marinated artichoke hearts (I picked some up from the New Leaf deli section and used what amounted to 3 whole hearts cut into 8 segments)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Put the potatoes (whole) into cold water and boil until tender (a fork can easily pierce through it). Pull out the potatoes and slice them into 1/4″ rounds. I pulled some of the skin off. Using the same water, drop the green beans in for a couple minutes but not too long. Remove from water and set aside.

In a separate pan, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Cook the onion in the bacon fat until tender. Add the potatoes and some salt. Let them cook over med/high heat so they get a bit browned. Add back in the bacon, green beans and artichoke hearts. Cover and cook for a couple minutes so everything can get to know each other. Flip over the mixture and cover for another 2 to 3 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve with a grilled pork chop and enjoy!