A few Thanksgivings ago, we were sitting at the table, passing food, when my aunt-in-law announced she had made her usual: green bean and fried onion casserole. Chunks rose at the thought of it. I know people who LOVE this dish, but WHY they love it is beyond me. I donned a smile and planned to pass the dish along, when auntie explained that she made her staple from scratch this year, using fresh green beans and real cream. I was intrigued, to say the least. I took a helping and, by god, if it wasn't the yummiest thing on the table! So, when I got a heads up about Fresh Home Magazine's recent issue, which includes fresh takes on traditional recipes, I took note. Would a green bean casserole makeover be among them?? You betcha!! And, with permission from Fresh Home, here it is:
Onion-Topped Green Beans
Panko, or Japanese bread crumbs, are coarser and crispier than traditional bread crumbs.
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min.
Yield: 6 servings
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 cups packed fresh cremini and/or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
Minced fresh parsley, optional
In a large ovenproof skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add onion. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and slightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add panko; toss to coat.
Bake, uncovered, at 350º for 15 minutes or until crumbs are crisp and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in another large skillet, sauté mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the soy sauce, green beans and remaining butter; toss. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or just until beans are crisp-tender.
Season the beans with additional sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in cream; heat through. Transfer bean mixture to a serving platter; top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.
Make Ahead: Slice the onion and mushrooms and trim the green beans in the morning. Store separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
Other traditional recipe makeovers in the fall issue of Fresh Home include, Brined Wild Turkey, Greens with Cranberry Vinaigrette, Tangy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes, Pear and Date Dressing and Harvest Fondue.