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Recipe: Bléu Cheese Green Bean Bake

Posted by on December 2, 2012

So one of my holiday favorites is Green Bean Casserole, I could eat that stuff till I’m blue in the face and be quite alright with this fact. Last year, I was traveling for the holidays and so I didn’t really get to eat any, which was of course sad. But it also left me unprepared for what to do when I did have time to cook up a proper dinner for a holiday. Which is what this year was all about. But then as the year progressed as well as my attention to labels…I realized French Fried Onions are glutenous(I’d always thought they were just REALLY fried onion strips, not battered, yeah, not always so bright), as is many, many types of cream of mushroom soup. So I had to find a solution. As usual, I went back to the basics. I found out that cream of Mushroom soup was based on a béchamel, which honestly should have been obvious but wasn’t. So I decided to just do it all from scratch. Besides, that way I’d know exactly what chemicals were going in. Then of course, life and my ADD decided to conspire against me. Let’s see…

I started to make the béchamel sauce and then realized if I was going to go all out, I needed to ‘improve’ things; I wanted a bit more flavor than just bland mushrooms but I didn’t want to overpower the green beans. Dug around in the kitchen and found…bleu cheese and realized I had a ton of it that I should probably use. So a little went into the mashed potatoes but I still had a ton left. Well, okay. Bleu Cheese goes really well with…uh….mushrooms, onions…pretty much anything. We’ll, I had those things, plus if I put mushrooms (which I had in my kitchen to make the ‘soup’ already), then I’d get to use those up, and onions were always welcome, plus it’d make the dish go further. Well, it’s bleu cheese…I need bacon. Which in this case, I had the ‘real’ bacon pieces which would suit me fine. Less work. But what could I do to make the onions tastier? Well, I’d made my first batch of caramelized onions for an onion dip a few months back (Still need to put up that recipe), and those onions had a ton of flavor. So in a fit of “I’m  sick of thinking this through!” I just kind threw a lot of things together and hoped it’d all come out right. It did. More than. xp

Basically, by the end, it’d had become a ‘bake’ in my head, since it was a casserole but it wasn’t just Green Beans. And what you have is below.

Bleu Cheese Green Bean Bake

Difficulty: 2.5 due to number of techniques
Time: 2 hrs to assemble and cook all components
Yield: 9 x 13 pan

Mise en Place

Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Oil (for drizzling)
Deep fryer (or chicken fryer)
Metal Tongs
Paper Towels
Medium bowls
Saute pan
Saucepan
Frying Spatula
Flat Whisk
Flat baking Dish
Pan

Ingredients

(Repeats are  not typos)
1 medium onion (sliced)
3 TBSP Sorghum Flour
1 TBSP Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp Baking Soda (optional)
1/4 cup milk (of choice) + milk to moisten
2 shallots (diced)
2 tsp oil or butter (of choice)
1 1/2 cup of warm milk (of choice)
2-3 TBSP Bleu Cheese + crumbles for sprinkling later
1 Medium Onion (Sliced)
3-5 Strips of bacon (or 1/3 cup of Bacon pieces)
1 TBSP oil or butter (Of choice)
2 TBSP Butter or Oil (Of choice)
8 oz mushrooms (Sliced)
24oz Green Beans (Fresh or Frozen [If Frozen, thaw overnight in colander over bowl])
 

First up is the French Fried onions because you actually want them to have a bit of time to cool. Now, I’ve found the best (ie easiest) way to do that is to fry it all in a deep fryer, but if you can do it in a pan, more power to you. Get your oil to 350-375 (The hotter, the better) and set a bowl up with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Basically, add the Sorghum and Tapioca Starch together (with 1/4 tsp Baking soda if you want more crunch) then add the 1/4 cup of milk and any additional you need to get it to a comfortable ‘batter’ like consistency. Dredge your onions in the batter and fry the onions until nice and crispy and then take out with the tongs onto the paper towel. Reserve your leftover batter.

 

In your sauté pan, set a small bit of oil in the bottom of the pan and heat on medium low heat and place your sliced onions (not the Fried ones) in the bottom. Coat onions with the oil and let sit, caramelizing the onions over time, but making sure to move it enough not to burn it while you prepare other things.

 

 

Like Mornay Sauce; As I previously mentioned it, Mornay Sauce is Béchamel sauce with cheese. Béchamel Sauce would be what I would use if I wanted to do a solely Mushroom Soup type base. But you’re going to take the saucepan (or small frying pan) and heat up a bit more oil (2 tsp) and add the shallots to it at about a medium heat. Moving this around, you’re going to sweat the onions, then add the reserved onion dipping batter to the onions. If you didn’t do the French Fried onions, then you’ll just add 2 TBSP Sorghum to 1/2 Tapioca Starch.  Wet or dry won’t matter much.

 

Once the onions are coated, start adding your warm milk. If you’ve used the wet batter, add the milk slower as it won’t need as much of the warm milk to make it the right consistency. Make sure to let it boil. This is how you make sure it thickens as you’re using a starch thickener. Set aside on VERY low heat or heat back up later with additional milk.

 

 

Back to the caramelizing onions, which I’m sure you’ve been paying just enough attention to so they don’t burn but are a nice deep brown or at least close to it. When they are almost done, add your sliced mushrooms to the mix, moving everything just a bit more frequently but still letting the mushrooms start to caramelize as well a little (If you can watch them well enough, you can put the mushrooms in sooner, letting them caramelize a bit more). Placing this mixture in a bowl for a moment, you’re then going to add some bacon to your pan or (heat some oil up and add REAL bacon pieces). When the bacon is crispy, remove from stove and let cool, chopping into pieces and then back into the pan, then sautéing your green beans to a bright but deep green in a little more oil, adding the onions and mushrooms back to heat back up after you’ve reached the right color. Add back your  onions and mushrooms to heat it up.

If your Mornay Sauce is still warm, then just pour over the entire mixture over the green bean, bacon, onion and mushroom mixture, turning to coat everything in the sauce. If Sauce is warm, heat up on low heat and then pour over, again, turning to coat. Add to a buttered flat pan and sprinkle with more bleu cheese and bacon pieces. Place crispy French Fried onions on top and bake for about 30 minutes in ovenat 350F to make sure everything is evenly warm. Serve and enjoy!

I told you it’d be worth it, one of the best ‘Green Bean Casseroles’ you’ll ever eat.

~Tabi

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to Recipe: Bléu Cheese Green Bean Bake

  1. Oskar

    Bacon too? Green bean casserole just got beettr. Thanks for hosting, so nice to visit all the other folks and learn new and different food and ideas.

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