Saturday, October 13, 2012

Green Bean Casserole

We keep getting green beans from our CSA.  Green beans seem easy enough.  My small problem-- my husband doesn't like green beans.  Not steamed up with butter and salt, anyway.  Usually when I get them, I will wash, cut and freeze them for soups in the winter.  Vegetable soup is a favorite at our house, and we eat it almost every week in the winter.

Well, tonight, I had TWO bags of green beans in my fridge (from last week and this week)... my in-laws were coming for a visit, and I (1) needed to use up my green beans and (2) needed to cook more food than usual.

I really like green bean casserole, but I don't use condensed soups OR those crunchy delicious onion thingys any more.  But, I had a hankering for green bean casserole. Oh, and did I mention that it was already 5 o'clock?  The rest of dinner was slated to be done around 5:45, so I needed to come up with something quick.  Luckily, Chris rinsed and de-stemmed the beans earlier in the day, knowing that I was going to use them. :-)

A quick google search brought up "Grandma's Green Bean Casserole."  It was four or five down on the list, but it was the first one that didn't mention Campbell's. Also, it says 'Grandma' in the title, which makes me automatically trust it just a little bit more.

I adapted Grandma's Green Bean Casserole to fit my ingredients and my time frame, and this is what resulted:

Janet's Green Bean Casserole
4 cups fresh green beans
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 TBS flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup yogurt
panko bread crumbs

Wash, de-stem and cut green beans into 1-2 inch pieces.  Steam until desired doneness (about 10 minutes for nice and soft). While beans are cooking, heat a cast iron skillet (or any 8" pan with tall sides) with the olive oil in it. Chop onion. Add onion to the oil. When onions are soft, sprinkle flour in the pan and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in the salt.  Add the cooked green beans and the yogurt.  Toss to combine evenly.  Sprinkle generously with panko bread crumbs.  Put the top on the pan, turn burner to low, and simmer until dinner is ready.

This casserole was simple, flavorful, and quick.  I like that it didn't go in the oven, taking extra time and heating the kitchen more.  Also, the kids liked it-- ate their beans with no complaints, and all the adults had seconds-- except Chris!  :-)

ps. if you noticed, the original recipe calls for shredded cheddar, which would have been pretty good, but I didn't want to do one more step!  And cheese makes a lot of things more delicious, but in my opinion, it wasn't even missed in this recipe.

pps. I recently bought my first bag of panko bread crumbs, and while they are rather processed, they are certainly much better than the crunchy onion thingys I mentioned earlier! I will definitely be using them from time to time in the future to add some extra crunch to our meals.

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