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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

A fresh take on the classic green bean casserole

Posted Monday,
November 17, 2014
0 ·
Photos/Ellen Fox Emerson
The green bean casserole became a Thanksgiving staple six decades ago.
Fresh onion rings make the perfect casserole topping or a taste treat by themselves.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The green bean casserole, which became popular back in the 1950s, remains a favorite side dish for many at Thanksgiving.

Campbell’s introduced its cream of mushroom soup in 1934. But, sales skyrocketed after 1955, when the Campbell Test Kitchens developed the famed green bean casserole.

Unfortunately those of us with gluten intolerance can’t consume two of the three main ingredients necessary for this casserole — the canned soup and the onion rings.

But this dilemma can be solved with a creamy mushroom sauce and freshly fried onion rings. Everyone can enjoy this recipe, made from fresh ingredients. And, more good news: It can be made a couple of days in advance.

Green bean casserole

Two 12-ounce packages of frozen tiny whole green beans
Or 1-½ pounds of fresh haricot vert beans, blanched
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, chopped
¼-cup of butter
3 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
1 cup of chicken broth
½-cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of tamari sauce (optional)

Let the green beans thaw. If you have the time and inclination, halve the beans vertically. Or just leave them whole.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and, while they cook (about five minutes), mix the flour with a ¼-cup of chicken broth in a small bowl to create a paste. When the mushrooms are tender and much of the liquid has evaporated, add the flour mixture. Stirring continuously, cook for another minute. Add the remainder of the chicken broth and tamari sauce and let simmer for a minute. Add the cream and blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl pour the mushroom mixture over the beans. Blend well and place in a casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the casserole in the oven for 25 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with onions and bake another 5 minutes.

Fried onion rings

2 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
Buttermilk to cover (about 2 cups)
1-½ cups of gluten-free flour
2 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground pepper
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 quart of vegetable oil

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice onions 1/8-inch thick. Place the onions in a large bowl, cover with buttermilk and let soak for an hour.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or stockpot to 365° F. Drain the buttermilk from onion rings and then dredge in the flour, coating well. Place a few onions at a time and cook until golden brown (maybe 2 minutes). Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve or keep warm in the oven.

If you want to keep some for a later date or make them a day or two in advance, spread onions out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for an hour. Once frozen, place them in a freezer bag. When ready to use, preheat oven to 350° F and bake 5 to10 minutes.
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