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Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

For the crispy onion topping:
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Nonstick cooking spray 
For beans and sauce: 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • handful of bacon lardons (can sub 3-6 slices of bacon 3 if it's a thick cut, 6 if it's scrawny)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1 cup half-and-half 

Recipe

I have been making this casserole for several years now and it always gets rave reviews.  I've even had requests for it during the non-holiday season.
 
Onion topping:
1.  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. 
2.  Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. 
3.  Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. 
4.  Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. 
5.  Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. 
6.  Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. 
Casserole
1.  Turn oven down to 400 degrees F.
2.  While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. 
3.  Saute the bacon lardons in a 12-inch cast iron skillet pan over medium-high heat until crispy, then drain on a paper towel and discard all but about 2 T of the remaining fat. 
4.  Melt the butter and add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 
5.  Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. 
6.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. 
7.  Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. 
8.  Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. 
9.  Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
10. Remove from the heat and transfer to an oven-safe casserole dish.
11. Stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. 
12. Top with the remaining onions. 
13. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. 
14. Remove and serve immediately.

Customer Jen L. for Thanksgiving recipe contest!

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