When I was little I had a complicated relationship with this traditional dish. It was surely a close relative of a questionable looking school lunch mystery but I was always drawn back to the cream sauce and crunchy fried onions. I felt like I should be grossed out by it but secretly, I loved it. Every year I feel an obligation to make sure this strange friend of mine has a spot on my Thanksgiving menu. This year I was on a quest to give it a make over that would bring it the full glory it really deserved. I found a recipe that sounded promising, gave it a few tweeks and I'd say Mr. Green Bean Casserole has a promising future ahead of him. I start with fresh green beans and don't use a can of cream of anything. This is one green bean casserole I can fully embrace.
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 TBS dried onion
1 cup sour cream
3 lbs fresh green beans*
½ can french dried onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 TBS butter melted
1.Preheat oven to 350.
2.Steam fresh green beans by putting a scant ½ inch of water in a large skillet. Add a little salt and bring to a boil. Add green beans. Cover, reduce heat and allow beans to steam for 3-4 minutes.
3.In a saucepan, melt 2 TBS butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Cook for one minute. Stir in salt, sugar, dried onion and sour cream. Add green beans and stir until coated.
4.Transfer mixture to a 2 ½ quart casserole dish. Stir in ½ can of french dried onions. Spread shredded cheese over top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter and sprinkle over cheese.
5.Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
*You can substitute 3 cans of french style green beans, drained, but I think the fresh green beans are what make this dish so fabulous.