Keyword caramelized onions, casserole, fresh, green bean casserole, green beans
2poundsfresh green beans,ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
2mediumsweet onions,sliced thinly
½teaspoongranulated white sugar
2slicesgood whole grain bread(or use dried stuffing cubes)
⅛teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
MUSHROOMS AND SAUCE:
1poundfresh mushrooms(cleaned, stems trimmed and sliced)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3tablespoonsall purpose flour
1½cupshalf and half cream
salt and pepper,to taste
PREPARE THE BEANS:
Bring the water to boil in a large pot. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the beans and salt to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes, or until crisp-tender and still bright green. Drain the beans in a colander, then plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain in the colander again. Pat with paper towels to dry completely.
CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and let cook, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat after about 10 minutes to medium-low. Sprinkle the onions with sugar, and continue to cook, stirring every so often to prevent over-browning or burning, until the onions are caramelized and soft. This should take a good 20 to 30 minutes (don't rush it with a higher heat), and the onions should be caramel-colored and sweet. Set aside to cool.
PREPARE THE TOPPING:
In a food processor, place the bread (or stuffing cubes), butter and seasonings and pulse about 10 times. Scrape the crumbs into a medium bowl, and stir in the onions; set aside. If making ahead, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.
PREPARE THE SAUCE:
Melt the butter in a skillet until shimmery. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until the mushrooms begin to soften and exude their liquid, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and sherry and bring to a simmer. Add the half and half; simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the cooked beans until they're evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING RIGHT AWAY: Preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer the bean mixture to large greased baking dish or 9x13 casserole. Top the beans with the topping and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING LATER: Transfer the mixture to a large greased baking dish or 9x13 casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, return to room temperature (it takes about 2 hours to reach room temperature). Remove the plastic wrap. Heat in a preheated 425°F. oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. Add the topping and bake for another 15 minutes.
*This recipe is gluten-free adaptable. Use gluten-free bread, or use dried bread stuffing cubes that are gluten free. Whole foods sells a dried bread cube stuffing mix during the fall holidays that is excellent. Also use GF flour in place of all-purpose flour and be sure to use GF chicken broth.