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Monday, March 24, 2014

Chelsea's Favorite-Dreaded 
Green Bean Casserole!
So, this is the "dreaded casserole!" For the story about the green bean casserole, see my post about Every Child's Favorite Mac 'n' Cheese recipe. 

Chelsea loves green beans and will even eat Swiss cheese, but just not together. This dish has a creamy and slightly sweetened sour cream base that counters the tang of the Swiss cheese brilliantly. Add to that some tender shallots and a bit of black pepper, drained canned green beans (canned beans in this actually work and taste the best than any other form) baked to bubbling perfection. Then topped with your favorite brand of Swiss cheese (I use lite Alsace) and broiled until golden brown, oozy, and bubbly-crusty. To my family, there isn't any other way for cheese to be when it's cooked. We love those bits at the edges that are tender-crusty, and then again we love it when you take a portion of food and the gorgeous cheese pulls and strings from dish to dish! That's good eating right there!

Our extended family had a double birthday celebration last night for my Sister-in-Law Robin, and her son, my nephew Brennan. Their birthdays are actually earlier in the month, but due to my older brother Dave's sad demise on the March 4th, we needed to rearrange a few events. Counting just family we have a normal number of  27! Then you add some regular attending friends and it ups to 33+! That's the normal count. Then you can factor in a boyfriend, stay over friends for the little girls, visiting out of town relatives.....la, la, la, la. That's a lot of food! Most of the time we pot-luck it. Every household seems to have specialties that they either like or ask to bring. I love to prepare anything and try to be flexible. Robin had asked me to bring a pasta salad for last night. I made a "regular" one and a GF one for me-although I purposely left it at home selfishly! There was some great food last night as usual, most of it I could eat. We had four grilled meats - beef and turkey burgers, chicken and incredibly moist and flavorful Mahi-Mahi (also known as Dorado). I asked my brother Kirk if he had caught the Mahi-Mahi ( he would go fishing with my brother Dave), he replied"Yeah, I caught it at Costco!" Worked for me! I was looking at one particular dish trying to figure out what these granular looking things where. I had decided that maybe they were soaked wheat berries and was just about to ask who brought it, and what was it, with the spoon in hand in case I wanted any. They were in with some crisp pear slices and a delicious looking creamy dressing. My niece Phoebe came up and told me that her Dad had fixed it and the granule things were walnut pieces!! Mayday! Mayday!!! Thank you Jesus for telling me Phoebe, as I am deathly allergic to walnuts. All it takes is for a walnut to "breathe" on anything I put in my mouth, I even carry an Epi-Pen. Whew!

So back to the dreaded casserole.

This dish makes a great accompaniment to just about everything. Grilled, roasted, broiled meats, salads, all types of breads, other vegetables, and any types of ethnic foods. My favorite way to eat this? A nice little slab on a plate straight out of the fridge and cold. Then I will go back later and reheat some for round two. I always make a double batch because we love it so much... Except now my husband is saying that he doesn't really like it either! So now at home a regular size batch is big enough for Chris and I. 

This just might become your favorite, too!

Chelsea's Favorite-Dreaded Green Bean Casserole                                      4-6 servings
**This makes one regular size batch**

2 Tablespoon butter
1-2 shallots, minced finely
1 teaspoon EVOO
8 ounces sour cream or greek style plain yoghurt
1 - 28 ounce can green beans, well drained
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon brown rice flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, if using table salt decrease the amount to 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6-8 slices of good Swiss cheese
6-8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

1. In a medium bowl mix the sour cream, salt and pepper, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
2. In an oven proof skillet over medium-low heat, (I use an iron-stone one), melt the butter and sauté the shallots until opaque and tender. Add the EVOO and the brown rice flour and sauté to toast the flour gently, you're not looking to change the flour's color, just add some taste complexity. 
3. Add the sour cream mixture to the hot flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Gently simmer the pan's ingredients over the medium-low heat until it's hot and bubbly. Add the well drained green beans and gently stir them with a heat-proof silicone spatula, into the hot sour cream sauce, heating the green beans completely.
4. Heat up the oven-broiler. Turn the stove top heat off and quickly spread the Swiss cheese over the green beans and sauce, cover the entire surface. It's okay if you have to tear the cheese slices into manageable pieces, no one will know! It'll all be melted together, and they will think you have performed feats of magic with simple ingredients!
5. Broil the casserole with at least 8 inches between the flames and the cheese, until golden brown, bubbly and tender crispy. 
Keep a very close eye on it as it can brown/burn very quickly! 
Remove immediately and serve directly from the skillet.