Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with green bean casserole made with condensed soup and French fried onions. In fact I like it a lot. But I wanted to give something new a try and when I saw this on The Pioneer Woman’s site I was game to give it a try.
On a side note if you do not read The Pioneer Woman’s blog you are missing out on something and need to get over and check it out right away. I always get a laugh and she shares lots of cute things. Not to mention every recipe that I have ever tried of hers is always good and easy to cook. So I knew this would be a winner!
This recipe was defiantly a winner but I am warning you it really has its own flavor and really doesn’t resemble the condensed soup recipe. My family and I loved it but we did make one minor change, we added a whole pound of bacon instead of the 3 slices it calls for. Lets be honest, I have never had a recipe that called for a few slices where I didn’t add the whole pound. It has never been a mistake but if you are watching what you eat you might not want to go that route.
Homemade Green Bean Casserole
~ 2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed
~ 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (or the whole pound)
~ 3 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1/2 large onion, chopped
~ 4 Tbsp. butter
~ 4 Tbsp. flour
~ 2 1/2 cups whole milk
~ 1/2 cup half and half
~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste
~ freshly ground black pepper, to taste
~ 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
~ 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
~ 1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimentos, drained
~ 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1. Cut green beans in half if you like smaller pieces. Blanch green beans by dropping them into lightly salted boiling water. Allow the green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.
2. Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking until bacon is done. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
4. Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.
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