19 Nov 2012
The Thanksgiving table plays host to a panoply of side dishes and on most tables a turkey. I’m of the belief that Thanksgiving offers something for everyone, even if the item of choice is white dinner rolls for the non-turkey eater. My cousin happened to be that very picky eater who would only eat rolls- not the healthiest approach. Our table would brim over with delicacies only prepared once a year that we could anticipate for months to come.
Somewhere nestled in between the Corningware dish of candied yams and my grandmother Tita’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing was my favorite dish. I could make it out by the silhouette of crunchy onion rings that crowned the bubbling mushroom sauce studded with green beans. Oh yes, green bean casserole easily won out as my second favorite Thanksgiving dish, a close to second to Tita’s stuffing.
As an adult, when I consider that most Green Bean Casseroles are made using cans, I wondered if it could be reconfigured and notably, if Uncle Sam might have a seat at the Thanksgiving table. I had conquered making Oven-Baked Onion Rings and applied similar principles to those crunchy onion strings in a can. Instead of condensed mushroom soup, a sizzling pan of mushrooms saute with the likes of thyme and garlic. This version below, this Scratch Green Bean Casserole, I would almost call it a Green Bean Onion Casserole as you’ll see it features allium three-ways with a trio of leeks, shallot and onion creating a savory base for the green beans and mushrooms. Instead of cream, I opted for plain kefir and added in brown rice flour instead of A-P. Call me crazy, but those small changes add up to one delectable dish. What’s your favorite dish at Thanksgiving?
Scratch Green Bean Casserole
Looking to make a gluten-free version of this casserole? Swap in the Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten Free cereal in place of the Uncle Sam cereal.
YIELD: 6 servings
1 small onion
dash of pepper
1 lb. green beans
12 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup leek, minced, (about one inch of the white part of the leek)
2 small cloves or 1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 cup broth
1 cup plain kefir
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon Salt
Preheat the oven to 475 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the cereal until finely ground. Pour cereal flour along with pepper into a bowl. Slice the onion in half and then cut each half into slender rings. Add onions to your bowl of cereal mix and stir to coat. Then remove onions and place them on the baking pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, removing them once or twice from the oven to stir them around the pan. Set aside once cooked and turn oven down to 400 F.
Rinse and trim the ends of the green beans. I tend to break them in half if they are long to make for easier eating. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Steam the beans for 5 minutes or until bright green. Strain, once cooked.
In a large pan, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set over medium heat. Add the shallots, leeks and garlic. Saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, thyme, salt and extra oil. Saute the mushrooms until cooked through, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Next, add in the broth and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the kefir and turn the heat to low, so the mixture will simmer and cook for 8 minutes.
In a casserole dish mix together the green beans, half of the onions and the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining crisped onions. Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. (Optionally, you can sprinkle ¼ cup of the Uncle Sam cereal meal for crispy breadcrumbs, 10 minutes into baking. Then place the casserole dish back in the oven to cook for the remaining 5 minutes).
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