Nothing stirs up controversy quite like the simple green bean casserole.
My personal opinion is that the classic Campbell's Holiday
Green Bean Casserole is a perfect dish, and luckily my family feels the same.
I cook it year after year because they like it and they expect it. I guess that's
part of the the secret to it's popularity.
people on the other hand would NEVER eat Campbell's Green Bean Casserole. For
many of them this recipe from Cook's Illustrated is the only Green Bean Casserole
Recipe they'd consider preparing or serving. To each his own!
Table salt 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, and
halved 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 pound white button mushrooms, stems trimmed,
wiped clean, and broken into 1/2 inch ieces 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
or pressed (1 Tbsp) Ground black pepper 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1.5 cups heavy cream
4 slices white sandwich bread, each torn into quarters 2 Tbsp. unsalted
butter, softened 1/4 tsp. table salt 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 cups canned fried onions (6 oz, about one can)
the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt & pepper in a food processor until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to large
bowl and toss with onions; set aside.
the beans and sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425
degrees. Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large
Dutch oven. Add 2 Tbsp. of table salt, and the beans. Cook beans until bright
green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately
into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper-towel-lined baking sheet
Add butter to
now-empty Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add
mushrooms, garlic, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper; cook until mushrooms release
moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add
cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced
to 3.5 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in even layer in 3-quart
(or 13x9-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden
brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
10-12 Cooks Illustrated
November & December 2006