Green bean casserole.. we all know that heavenly dish. It appeared in the 70s and is still a regular on most holiday buffets. I’ve coaxed my family to obsessing over cheesy carrot casserole and broccoli rice casserole instead. I found a new green bean casserole recipe and have been eager to try it. Adding cream cheese, sour cream and bacon? I can’t resist!
I thawed my green beans in the fridge overnight so that they were ready to go. I used frozen green beans even though I always think they “squeak” when you eat them. I’d have preferred fresh green beans but they cost more a pound than NY strip steaks this time of year up North. Sigh. I drained the beans and set them aside to prepare a baking dish with some cooking spray.
I sautéed my diced bacon in a large nonstick skillet until it was crisp, I removed the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and put it into a bowl with the green beans, leaving the drippings in the pan.
I put the diced onions into the bacon grease in the skillet. I sautéed them over medium high heat until they were slightly browned and translucent. I added the minced garlic and cooked for about a minute more.
I used 3 tablespoons of flour, adding it to the skillet and stirring to cook the floury taste out before making a roux. I also added a teaspoon of sugar to lightly sweeten the dish. I think that was added to the recipe to somewhat deflect the flavors of the sour cream and cream cheese. The small amount wasn’t noticeable in the finished dish.
Roux made, I stirred in the sour cream and cream cheese until it was creamy and the lumps of cream cheese had all dissolved. At this point it sort of looked like French onion dip for chips!
I stirred in the beans and tossed them until they were somewhat coated. I poured the mixture into my prepared baking dish, covered the dish with foil and baked it at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
I was transporting the beans to a family Thanksgiving gathering, so I didn’t finish the topping with bacon, cheese and crackers until later. Later I decided I should have put the bacon in the dish so it baked in the flavor a little better. I revised that in the recipe below. I put the cooled beans into the refrigerator to warm the next day.
Shortly before our holiday dinner I stirred in the shredded cheese and bacon, and sprinkled the crushed crackers over the top. I put the dish back into the oven minus the foil and let it heat for about 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese was melted. I put the mixture into a crockpot to stay warm until serving.
The green beans were a popular item on the buffet. Who doesn’t like green beans with a cream cheese sauce and a cracker topping? And bacon! This dish might make you forget that old recipe that uses evil cans of condensed soup and fried onions. There’s a lot to be said for fresh ingredients. Well mostly fresh. If green beans weren’t about $10 a pound, it would have all been totally fresh!
My P.S. was a big fan of the beans, although he mentioned he missed my regular broccoli rice casserole this year. For once I didn’t make it and I think everyone was disappointed. It’s become a part of our food traditions, as well as that of half the country. I get more hits on that recipe than any other on my blog, particularly around the holidays when that one goes crazy with hits. Maybe these green beans will fight for the top post with the broccoli.
Gourmet Green Bean Casserole
2 lbs fresh or frozen green beans; trimmed
6 slices bacon; diced and browned until crispy, reserving bacon fat
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup sweet onion; chopped fine
1 clove garlic; minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
crushed butter crackers (I used Townhouse)
If using frozen green beans, thaw first. Canned beans would become too mushy, I don’t recommend you use them.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat reserved bacon fat or 1/4 cup butter. Add flour and stir to make a smooth roux. Add sugar, onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender.
Add sour cream and cream cheese, stirring until smooth and creamy. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Add beans and stir to coat.
Spoon beans into a greased baking dish. Top with crumbled bacon and cover with foil.
Bake in 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes until the beans are tender and heated through. Remove foil and sprinkle on shredded cheese and crushed crackers. Bake 10 minutes more until the cheese is melted.
If you are traveling, bake until tender and keep covered with foil. At destination, remove foil. Sprinkle on cheese and crushed crackers and bake 10-15 minutes to warm before serving.
If refrigerated, let dish stand at room temp about an hour, stir in the shredded cheese and top with crushed crackers. Heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Cookin With Super Pickle