It’s time for this month’s Food ‘n Flix Submission, hosted by Deb from Kahalai Kitchen! If you aren’t familiar, Food ‘n Flix is a fun little challenge wherein participants watch a chosen movie and then whip up something delicious inspired by the movie.
This month’s movie was Pieces of April. In the movie (a drama, dark comedy? I’m not sure), April has invited her estranged family to a homemade Thanksgiving. April has made some poor choices in the past, and her mother is terminally ill. As April prepares the Thanksgiving meal, she runs into all sorts of difficulties, but the people in her apartment building pull together to help her achieve her Thanksgiving meal.
Since it’s all about Thanksgiving, I decided to try my hand at my very favorite Thanksgiving side dish (even though it did not appear in the film): Green Bean Casserole!
So I have a confession to make…I LOVE canned green beans. I remember one time, I was in college and going home for the weekend. My mom asked me what I’d like her to make for dinner while I was home. I knew that no matter what she made, it would be fantastic (especially when compared to dorm food – yuck!). So all I requested was green beans from a can! Yep, I love them!
And I love that original recipe green bean casserole with the canned beans and canned soup and crunchy onions. All over it.
But for this, I decided to push myself a bit and make the casserole from scratch…well except for the crunchy onions, those are non-negotiable.
This recipe begin with fresh green beans (wahh?) and a homemade version of cream of mushroom soup with some caramelized onions mixed in (because why not?). Then it’s topped off with those iconic crunchy onions. It’s a Thanksgiving winner!
Note: This is a small version of the classic, suited for smaller Thanksgiving gatherings. For a crowd, double the recipe.
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
12 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, very thinly sliced
1 tsp salt, divided
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, chopped small
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp dried oregano
Dash of dried thyme
1 tbsp all purpose flour
5 oz (just over ½ cup) chicken stock
½ cup half and half
1 tbsp grated parmesan
1 cup (2.8 oz) French fried crunchy onions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a small baking dish.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for five minutes. Drain and run cold water over the green beans to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and a dash of salt and stir to coat. Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions until they caramelize, turning a deep amber color, about 20 minutes.
Once the beans are finished cooking and cooling, add the butter to the same pot and to melt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are very tender and juicy. Stir in the garlic, caramelized onions, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and flour.
Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then slowly whisk in the chicken stock, followed by the half and half. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the parmesan and cooled green beans.
Pour the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with crunchy onions.
Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then, uncover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the onions are browned.
Serves 4-6 side dish servings