We're not fans of green bean casserole around here although when I say "we" I really mean he. Seeing as it's such a popular menu item in this part of the world come Thanksgiving time and personally never having had the pleasure of dining on such a thing, I had some incentive to give it a try or at least a whisper of the real thing.
From what I understand, the original casserole was created in 1955 by the makers of Campbell's soup so it comes as no surprise it contains cream of mushroom soup, green beans, a little milk, a touch of salty soy sauce and a lot of french fried onion rings. I figured I could do that but then again maybe not.
Instead picture if you will, crispy bacon nestled among lightly steamed curly kale in a casserole topped by golden fried mushrooms sauteed with garlic and napped in dry sherry, all smothered in a creamy bechamel like sauce. Topped with shredded swiss cheese, a dusting of parmesan and a blanket of canned fried onions then baked to a rich bubbling golden brown wouldn't you say it makes the original casserole sound a bit like an evil twin? Yeah, we thought so too.
8 cups coarsely chopped kale
3 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons instant blending flour (Wondra)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Canned fried onions
Preheat oven to 400. Grease a medium sized casserole or gratin dish with butter and set aside. Cook kale in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain well and place in prepared casserole. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove from pan and sprinkle on top of kale. Add butter to the bacon drippings in sauté pan and when butter has melted, add mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are golden brown. Sprinkle with instant blending flour, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and continue to cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add sherry to the pan and stir to combine with mushrooms, and then add chicken stock and cream. Heat until thickened. Pour over kale and bacon in casserole. Top with cheese and sprinkle with canned fried onions. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbling and golden. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
A year ago - Lamb Ragu on Gnocchi
Two year's ago - Beef and Pepper Panini Sandwiches
Three year's ago - Orange Chicken