FRESH GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Growing up on Guam, I don’t think I ever saw a green bean casserole on anyone’s table. It wasn’t until I became an Army wife when I was exposed to such a dish.
My husband has been asking me to make this dish for a while. Finally, I caved and gave it a shot. I took a friend’s advice to use fresh green beans. Of course, I went to my go-to site for all foods non-Guam-related, allrecipes.com. I combined two recipes and voila, yummy! This recipe is out-of-this-world and yes, it still has a ton of fat. But once in a while, especially with a turkey smoked in a Big Green Egg, and all the other Thanksgiving side dishes, you just gotta!
Once you have built the casserole in the baking dish, it may look full. However, the beans do shrink and the casserole does end up thinner…so don’t use a larger baking dish! Recipe may be easily doubled.
Makes an 8 x 8 dish
1 lb. green beans
2 T. unsalted butter
¼ c. diced yellow onions
2 T. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
½ c. condensed cream of mushroom
½ c. sour cream (low-fat version works fine too)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese made with cream cheese (melts better)
1/3 c. Town House light buttery crackers, original flavor, crumbled
1/3 c. French fried onions
Tools: slotted spoon, medium pot, large bowl, colander, paper towels, large pot, rubber spatula, 8 x 8 baking dish, non-stick spray
1. Rinse green beans and pick out the spoiled / damaged ones. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl half way with ice then add enough cold water to cover the ice. Set aside. Cut the ends off the beans then slice lengthwise into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
2. Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add the green beans to the water. Boil uncovered for 3 minutes.
3. Drain the beans through a colander then place the beans immediately in the bowl of ice water. Keep the beans in the ice water for 3 minutes then drain in the colander.
4. Pat the beans dry with paper towels, napkins, or a clean kitchen towel. Sometimes I keep the beans on the kitchen towel for an hour or two to remove as much of the water as possible. If you don’t, the casserole will be watery.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. In a large pot or sautee pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter just under medium heat. Add the onions and sautee with the rubber spatula till softened. Reduce heat to medium-low.
7. Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring with the spatula.
8. Add the salt, sugar, sour cream, and cream of mushroom, and mix well w/ the rubber spatula. It will all mix together perfectly.
9. Add the green beans and thoroughly combine. Remove from heat.
10. Spray the baking dish with non-stick spray.
11. Spread the beans evenly in the dish.
12. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the beans.
13. In a small bowl, combine the crushed crackers and the French fried onions. Sprinkle this mixture over the cheese.
14. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the cheese has melted.
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© Copyright Paula Quinene. Check out Guam cookbooks and Chamorro cookbooks, A Taste of Guam and Remember Guam, for more Guamanian recipes and Chamorro recipes that are tested, tried and true. Get Macarons Math, Science, and Art, for foolproof macaron recipes and techniques. Enjoy a Guam romance novel in Conquered. Most photos courtesy Paula and Edward Quinene.