Thursday, December 29, 2011

Side dish: Ree's Green Bean Casserole

We did not have this at Christmas. I don't know why not. However, every recipe codex should have a green bean casserole. For years I had the one on the side of the green bean or French's fried onions can. We had the traditional American Thanksgiving feast on my birthday in early December. For that feast, we made The Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole instead of the one in the codex. We have now replaced our green bean casserole with this one. While we didn't have this at the Christmas dinner, it is a part of a holiday celebration (and our sides were frozen veggies and King's Hawaiian rolls, which do not belong on the food blog.) Without further ado, here's a fantastic Green Bean Casserole. 

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends cut off
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
freshly ground black paper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimientos, drained
extra milk for thinning, if necessary
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (or French's fried onions)


  1. Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
  2. Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside.
  3. Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
  5. Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.
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