Grandma's Green Beans
We all have special family traditions, especially at holiday times. (Although I loved my grandmother's green beans any time, any place!) This is a recipe that's familiar to most of us, in one form or another, a Green Bean Casserole. (Believe it or not, we saw it pre-packaged at the discount store the other day. That's just WEIRD.)
Normally, it looks pretty much like this, though I'll admit I've jazzed it up a bit--made it a little more grown up and somewhat healthier than the version I grew up with. (Still can't do without those French's Onions, though...)
Instead of regular canned green beans, consider preparing fresh ahead of time, cooking them till tender by steaming or (gasp!) boiling. We get organic ones from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which delivers fresh vegetables and fruit (and sometimes meat) to our door. I've also used canned organic beans, and that works just fine, too!
You'll need about 4 cups of beans to make enough to share with the family...
Give this a try!
4 C. or two cans of green beans, preferably organic
1 large can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup--regular, fat free, or "Healthy Request" if you like (*or make your own, it's not hard! See the recipe below...)
1 small can of organic mushrooms OR 1 C. of raw mushrooms, saute'ed in butter or canola oil or a mix.
1 1/2 C. grated sharp cheddar cheese--if you've got access to organic cheese, great. (Or grate...)
1 T. fresh garlic, minced (the jarred stuff will do, of course)
A splash of white wine--like 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Dry-ish wine is probably best, but I've used Rhine with no complaints...
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Trust me, you'll like it...
Dash of sea salt, if you wish...
And yes, all right, one small can of French's Onions. Yum. Don't eat too many out of the can...
Grate the cheese, if you haven't bought already grated. I love my old Salad Shooter! (They cost a tad more now, but if you grate much (carrots, cheese, whatever) you'll like it too.)
Mix the green beans, cheese, and soup together in a large bowl...
A handful of the onions are good in the mixture, too! (OK, 2/3 cup, if you like measurements...) Add the garlic, wine, lemon juice, and salt and stir.
Pour into a large, greased flat pan. Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour, sprinkle on more onions (YES, more) and bake for 5 more minutes or till the onions are golden brown.
Two of my godchildren request this every Thanksgiving, and it's all gone by the end of the meal!
(And yes, you're right, that illustration didn't actually go with this recipe, I forgot!)
* Homemade cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 C. butter or butter and oil mixture, not margarine. (Have you read the ingredients on margarine?? I don't THINK so. )
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. flour (we get organic white/whole wheat flour)
4 C. broth (chicken, vegetable, whatever. Swanson's makes a quite good organic chicken broth!)
1 C. cream or half and half
salt and pepper to taste.
Saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic in butter till tender, add the flour and stir over medium heat for about a minute. Remove from heat and add the broth, return to heat, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and continue to stir for about 2 minutes. Add the cream, whisk, but don't let it boil again. Voila, cream of mushroom soup!
(If you use celery chopped fine, then of course this is cream of celery soup!)