2 packages (12 OZ) of store bought greens beans, cleaned and ends trimmed.
1 8OZ package of button mushrooms cleaned and sliced.
2 cups low fat half and half milk
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
4 think cut slices of original bacon, chopped
4 cloves of finely grated garlic
1 knob of freshly grated ginger
1 red jalapeño crushed (optional)
1 whole white onion cubed
1 teaspoon of hot paprika
1 tablespoon of flour
2 stalks of green onions chopped
1 cup of cilantro chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
½ cup of shredded carrots
2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of French fried onions (or whatever
brand your local store sells)
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes (this is your ice bath for the green beans) set aside.
On the Stove top, in a stock pot bring to boil about 6 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to it. Add the green beans to the boiling water. Now in the past when I first made this recipe I only boiled my beans for 5 minutes, so it was still crisp and crunchy. If you like your green beans casserole like this then only boil for 5 minutes.
I however boiled mine until my beans were tender, as the folks at the dinner table complained that the beans were too hard to eat when it is crunchy.
As soon as you remove the beans from the hot water, place it in the ice bath right away. This helps the beans to retain its bright green color and stops the cooking process. Set aside.
One the stove top, place a wide, deep frying pan on medium heat. Add your chopped bacon. No oil is needed as the bacon will render its own.
Once the bacon has started to crisp up, add the chopped onions and the celery to pan. Let this fry for 2 minutes before adding the carrots.
Add in your ginger and garlic to the mixture. Fry for 45 seconds. Add in the mushrooms. Let this cook until the mushrooms just start to shrink.
Add the flour and stir. Make sure you continue to stir so that the flour gets incorporated and cooks out.
Now you are going to add your chicken stock. Once the chicken stock has reduced and the mixture is starting to thicken up, add the milk. This will start to thicken up after about 2-3 minutes. Once this happens add 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix in until the cheese starts to melt.
Add the chopped green onions, cilantro, black pepper and paprika. At this point you need to taste the mixture to see if it needs additional salt. Add salt to your taste.
Turn off the stove once your mixture is thickened up with the cheese nice and melted.
Add in your green beans and mix.
Again taste your dish with the beans and mushroom sauce together to see if it needs more salt. But remember you still have 2 more cups of cheese that will be over the top of the beans, plus the onions that will add extra salt to your dish.
Spread the green beans mixture in your baking pan. And layer the rest of the cheese over the top of it.
Now at this point you can actually saran wrap your green beans up and stick it in the refrigerator for baking the next day or go ahead and pop it in the oven now. Bake until the cheese is nice and golden brown and the mushroom sauce is almost gone. Ten minutes before removing from the oven layer on your onions. I baked mine for 45 minutes, removed it from the oven, layered on my onions, popped it back in the oven and removed after 15 minutes.
It was delicious! Rave reviews from this homemade, from scratch mushroom sauce. And it is healthy as we used low sodium chicken broth and low fat milk.