I am discovering every day that eating gluten free doesn't have to be boring, and you don't have to sacrifice your favorite foods. A little thought and creativity can go a long way to help you enjoy the foods you love. In the case of this green bean casserole, the recipe I put together resulted in the best green bean casserole I've ever eaten. Seriously.
I was pretty bummed at first about Thanksgiving, and the thought that I wouldn't be able to eat many of my favorite foods. I decided to let stuffing go this year, although next year I'm going to make gluten free cornbread, and use that for my stuffing recipe. I was determined, though, that green bean casserole stay in the menu plan, and that it be something I could eat.
I started pondering the ingredients in the traditional green bean casserole that are now off limits for me. Canned cream o mushroom soup and the bagged french fried onions. There are gluten free canned soups out there, but I haven't seen them in my stores, and I've tried to avoid things like that anyway because of the sodium.
I like to use a little sour cream along with the soup, so I figured I could keep that, and maybe use some half n half to create a cream sauce with fresh mushrooms. Okay, done. Now, what about those onions? Why couldn't I just bread my own? It was time to play in the kitchen.
1 large sweet vidalia onion
1 cup of skim milk
2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour
1t kosher salt
1t garlic powder
1 cup oil (I used extra light olive oil, but canola or sunflower would both work nicely)
8oz button mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2T fresh chopped parsley or 1t dried
1t gluten free flour
1/2 cup vegetable broth (or if you have an open bottle of white wine, use it. I used a 1/4 cup of each)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
additional salt and pepper to season during sauteeing, if desired
1lb of your preferred green beans- fresh, frozen or canned (if fresh or frozen, you will want to steam them before combining with the sauce. I am ashamed to say that I just love low sodium canned green beans, and prefer that texture in my g.b. casserole. I know some foodies consider that to be a major sin, and to them, I apologize, but I can't help it :) I used 2 cans of drained green beans in this recipe)
The first thing I needed to do was make the fried onions. I cut the onion in half and cut into slices, separating the pieces out as I went. I put the milk in a bowl, and dropped the onions in the milk for about 10 minutes. Then I grabbed a large bag and placed my flour, salt, paprika, garlic and pepper in the flour, shaking to mix.
I heated the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Working in small batches, I dropped the milk soaked onions into the flour, and shook to coat.
After shaking the excess flour off the onions, I dropped into the oil and cooked until nice and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, using my tongs to turn them so they would could evenly
When they were done, I placed them on paper towels to drain. Of course, we needed to taste test them to see if they were edible.
I am actually amazed there were any left to make the casserole. Amazing restraint was required to not munch on them as I went.
After I finished the onions, I disposed of the oil, washed and dried the skillet and put it back on the stove over medium heat. I melted the butter, then added the mushrooms and garlic, along with the parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauteed, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, until the mushrooms were tender. I sprinkled the flour across the mushrooms, and let the mixture cook for another 2 minutes before stirring again. I stirred, then started adding my liquids- broth, wine and half and half.
After bringing the mixture to a nice simmer, I removed from the heat, and stirred in the sour cream. Now I was ready to combine with the green beans in my baking dish.
I then took half the onions, stirred them into the green beans, and topped the casserole with the other half of the onions. I baked in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.
The whole family gobbled these up. Truly divine. I missed nothing, and in fact, found a better recipe to use from now on. I can hardly wait to prepare these for unsuspecting friends and family :)
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