Sunday, December 16, 2012

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

I made this Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving dinner, after all you can't have Thanksgiving without green bean casserole. I hadn't made the regular Green bean casserole very often just because it was lacking something, so when I saw this on Guy Fieri's Food Network show, I had to give it a try. I did tweak it a bit, I added bacon.... bacon is good in anything isn't it? Andrew had had green beans with bacon at one place that he worked, he still talks about those, so that's what gave me the inspiration to try it here. I also just used regular button mushrooms, YUM! Even my Mother-in-law said that the Green Bean casserole was excellent. (I love my Mother-in-law, she isn't like the typical mother-in-law that you hear bad things about, she's easy to get along with and talk to, I just threw that in there because it seems most people aren't as lucky as me! ) I'm posting this recipe  because I thought some of you might want to give it a try for Christmas. Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy
6 slices thick, smoked peppered bacon
1- 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed (I used fresh from the produce department, they have them bagged and trimmed already to go by the bagged salads!)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced,
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 small container french fried onions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the bacon into bite size pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, when hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked and crispy. While your bacon is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they just turn bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. (You don't want to cook the green beans through as they will cook in the oven also.) Strain and plunge the green beans immediately in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain and set out to dry on paper towels.
When your bacon is done, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, set aside. If there is a lot of bacon grease in the skillet drain, leaving about a 1 Tablespoon in the skillet and add the butter; once the butter is melted add the mushrooms. Cook undisturbed so the mushrooms sear nicely, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and garlic and continue cooking the mushrooms to achieve some nice color. Season with the salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes longer, dusting the mushrooms with some of the flour as they release moisture. Stir with a whisk to incorporate the flour (just like making a roux) and gradually add in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and add the sour cream and cream. Stir gently and cook over low heat until gravy thickens, 5 to 6 minutes. (Be careful not to boil to hard or the cream mixture will separate and curdle)  Add the blanched green beans and bacon to the pan and fold together so everything is mixed well.
Pour into a 13x9 baking dish, spread out evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the green beans with the grated Parmesan bake until the casserole is bubbly and the top is melted and golden, 15 minutes. Top with french fried onions and continue to cook for about 5 to 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

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